A New England Bachelor

by Richard Eberhart

My death was arranged by special plans in Heaven
And only occasioned comment by ten persons in Adams, Massachusetts.
The best thing ever said about me
Was that I was deft at specifying trump.
I was killed by my father
And married to my mother
But born too early to know what happened to me,
And as I was an only child
I erected selfishness into a personal religion,
Sat thinking forty years saying nothing.
I observed all. I loved to drink gin,
Would not have thought to go farther
Into arcane episodes of the heavier drugs,
And, being New England, always remained sober.
However, I confess now, I was
Always afraid of women,
I don't know why, it was just the way it was,
I could never get very close to any woman.
Knowledge and intelligence allowed me
The grand rationalization of this; also, I respected
Delicacy, but would not go too far in any direction.
I thought I was a good man. I was.

I did not obstruct the state, nor religion,
But I saw through both and maintained my independence.
I kept my counsels among the learned.
My learning was more private and precious than worldly.
The world had no sense of the devious,
So my private vicissitudes were mine alone.

I say all this with a special sort of grace
For I avoided many of the pitfalls of fallen man
And while I did not have heroic size, the
Creative grandeur, or mastership of the mind
I earned my bread by cynicism alone,
And blow you all a kiss from the tomb.

Last updated April 25, 2023