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To: K-list
Recieved: 1999/07/06 17:49
Subject: [K-list] In Memory...
From: Ckress

On 1999/07/06 17:49, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:

Some of you may recall a poem I posted last year about my friend Mark, who
had lived in an iron lung since he was paralyzed by polio at the age of 6.
Mark died on July 4th -- his own private Independence day. In tribute to him
I'm posting a poem he wrote.



by Mark O'Brien

It's been such a long time
more than eighty years
since I was a stupid boy
and tramped with him through the villages
and listened to him work the mobs
of lost looking people
just outside the temple
in holy, great, stinking Jerusalem.
I can still see his face, though,
sure as sunlight.
Though I can't see the sunlight anymore.

If you wish to paint his portrait,
you have to do the eyes first.
>From the eyes, all else follows,
the thin lips, ratty beard, spastic gestures
accentuate that stare.

Often he gave me that stare,
black flames that terrified me,
or calmed me with a humorous sort of acceptance,
always watching.

To draw that stare,
you have to see that which is
as he saw it:
you have to become him.


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