Michael Gollin
May 2013
For Natasha

“DAD!” called the college girl voice —
I turned but she was not my daughter —
1266 caps and gowns,
tassels blue and brown,
shoes, sandals (no bare feet yet),
long brown and golden hair, and short,
rows of smiling faces glistening with relief
and pride and joy.
Do I catch a glimpse of fear,
trepidation — loss?
Their college years recede
as this timeless weekend
pageant of completion
poetically referred to universally
as university commencement

Incurable disease

Incurable disease
January 2013
Michael Gollin

I was born with a terminal disease,
Progressive and incurable.
What can I do but live with it?
And live well, as long as I am able.

One day will be my last,
But not today,
There’s too much to eat and drink
and learn and fix and say.

There’s no mystery at all,
If you look at things up close.
The truth is there for you to see,
Right before your nose.

Some things last forever,
Land and sky and sea,
But living things are born to die
Insects, plants, and me.

You, too, have the dread disease,
The one without a cure.
So we must both find joy
and live our lives, as long as we endure.

So how to live with purpose, then?
Prepare for what life brings you.
Enjoy the good, improve the bad,
And help others do so, too.