for David Berman

Not every second Saturday,
For sometimes you’d be travelling
Abroad, or work kept you away,
But ten months out of twelve you’d bring

A bull’s-eye-central metaphor,
Already flawless, to present
For our critique, having made sure
To say precisely what you meant.

How easily we might misread
Your absence here today. At court,
With one more major case to plead?
At anchor in a foreign port,

Where you’ve uncorked a vintage wine?
You would have joined us otherwise;
We’d quibble with your closing line.
But this is one you won’t revise.

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