John Glassco

By Ralph Gustafson

You babbled unstuttering of stocks and bonds
In the kitchen where years later you wept
Because Elma was unkind, poor dear,
I remember, in her sloped sporting hat;
She did not know what she was saying
There in bed in the hospital. Money
And years of love, you had them both,
I suppose, though your poetry hardly
Exposed either.  There you stood,
Gin and orange juice, a friend of worth
Though I never knew exactly what was worth
You were friend to.  Dividends and profit
Surprisingly as managed as your formal
Verse was.  Anyway, your advice
Was no good.  I did not understand money.
Your poetry I did though, as finished
As Beau Brummell.

                             Buffy — as stuffed
With sardonics as his catbird.
I think you were genuine.  Hard to tell.
I see you seated in the Sloane leather
Chair, pink in the face, giggling
Quietly at nothing no one of us
Ever knew about.  Now,
Over a tumbling stream in Foster,
Your ashes taken in by the waters —
Anonymous, with ascot at your throat
And a wine glass in your hand,
Inscrutably amused — as you would have it.