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For a Friend I'll Never Meet

Alan W. Jankowski, 1961-2017

You always did like surprise endings,
A twist no one could see coming,
And that last one of yours was a doozy.
Days later, we're still reeling,
Not from the shock, which dissipates,
But from a grief that lingers.
You probably never knew
The regard people held you in,
For it seemed to sneak up
As we chatted and laughed
About topics big and small.
Our esteem grew
Alongside your virtual menagerie,
Vintage music, Exacta and photography talk,
And your helpful posts
On writing contests and submission calls.
We all owe you a debt of gratitude for those.
You encouraged many of us
To get our work out into the world,
Which benefitted me immeasurably.
We played off each other well, you and I,
Whether it was the pressing problem
Of someone thinking she was better than you,
Jersey rejoicing after Colorado called,
Or lining up ducks, each in our own way,
We shared a common sensibility.
Of course, things weren’t always rosy between us.
We disagreed, sometimes vehemently,
Yet we managed to put it behind us every time.
I will miss you more than either of us might have guessed.
Rest in peace,
My pal - my colleague - my friend.

 

 

 

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