Flying west prolongs the sunset.
Amber clouds twisting across the landscape
and delaying the inevitable night.
When he died, the darkness came.
A long bright light suddenly fading into darkness.
Leaving the world more grey, uncertain, alone.
He would have liked the airplane.
Admired the rivets holding it fast,
and naming the engine’s roar.
Telling story after story of other planes,
each folding into the next,
contrails floating across the sky.
He lived full of wonder.
With awe for clever artistry,
and more for engineers.
His love of classical music was so intimate,
that he spoke as though he knew them;
Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin
Los Angeles was always his home.
Where his mom played the piano,
and he cruised the streets in youth.
He took generations of descendants
to the beaches and the auto shows.
And best of all, walks down to the park
Sixty years he led the family.
With personal guidance, or acceptance;
and never shy to share his thoughts,
whether he was tired, or hungry, or bored.
And also when he was proud of you,
and missed you, and loved you
Still flying with us is grandma,
refined by sixty-seven years of caring for him
and being cared for, by him.
For she, he honored and adored.
88 years never stood so quickly
as when she called his name.
Their six children are now left to lead
with the wisdom of their own grey hairs,
and 19 grandchildren are now bereft
of that eternal joyful chuckle.
The 27 and counting great grandchildren,
carry on his name, his love, his faith.
In the darkness of this void,
we find the roles he piloted before us
and we each move up a seat.
The grandchildren must become the parents,
of children in need of new grandparents.
Each new birth another light.
The world isn’t consigned to darkness.
The dawn still comes again,
and that long-delayed final sunset,
with it’s snuffing of his light,
is just the adding of today into yesterday
Which happens when tomorrow meets today
We will build anew each sunrise.
We each will go our way,
and we too will run out of sunsets,
when it’s our turn to fly away.
And there that long-remembered chuckle,
will again welcome us to stay.