Last Words: Mysteries of Life by Richard Weaver

Close up photo of ivy
Photo by Fred Wilbur

for Nana Pansy

“Give these to Weaver,” you said.
The books that saw you through
sleeplessness. “I’m done with reading.”
You already knew how it ended.
You were done with Who Done Its.
“Give these back to Weaver.”

Like a good sergeant you gave me the case,
the tough one called Life after you.
I’m on it, Nana, like a small dog who’s just
unearthed a dinosaur’s femur. A passable
conundrum, but not one you expect me to solve.
We both know the pleasure’s in the chase,
the day-to-day details, not the inevitable solution.

We learn the language of love
one sweet kiss at a time. We learn
the language of loss with each breath,
each echoing heartbeat. The light reflecting
in our eyes is the memory of a star
accommodating darkness.
We welcome its sustenance
even as we know its absence.

We learn the language of loss, and find
reasons to continue. Blessings appear
in rooms previously unknown or locked.
The butler confesses to secrets
unknown to God: Colonel Mustard
with a silver bookmark.
Mr. Green in the observatory
reading out loud in the dark.

Who did it? You did it Nana.
And everyone caught you at it.
Everyone knew the secret.
You committed the perfect crime: happiness.

Richard Weaver
Post-Covid, Richard Weaver has returned as the writer-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. Among his other pubs: conjunctions, Louisville Review, Southern Quarterly, Birmingham Arts Journal, Coachella Review, FRIGG, Hollins Critic, Xavier Review, Atlanta Review, Dead Mule, Vanderbilt Poetry Review, and New Orleans Review. He’s the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press, 1992), and wrote the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars (2005) which has been performed three times in Alabama, and once at Juilliard in New York City. He was one of the founders of the Black Warrior Review and its Poetry Editor for the first three years. Five poems from his Franz Marc MS will be appearing in the Alabama Anthology (Nov. 2023). His 200th prose poem was recently accepted.

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