The papers had the notice prepped for weeks,
An evergreen for interns since sixty-nine
polished by senior staff this month and last
and the one before.
The old man himself, I’m sure, offered
more than a few suggestions.
His fans, old lovers, enemies –
all readied signs to hold some time last year.
And so, through fervent preparation,
death finally came, and with it the expected rituals
of expected death, and prayers:
let us believe we know what’s next,
let us believe we’ve years yet left to be.