Elegy for friend

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In Memoriam, Donald Wayne Henry
April 28, 1939 – April 10, 2015

One lone sentry. Set apart to bid watch.
The others loft and spring, a-cackle up and down the railing.
Plaintive laughter “I want! I want!” “Mine!” “Mine!”
The tide low and still, the gulls search impatiently, frantically.
Laughing, laughing, maws agape.
Life ebbs from the rock salt tomb back to where it came from.

One lone sentry. Set apart to bid watch.
Perched atop the dock pole, keeping silent vigil.
A single soul…is it him upon the pole?
Or a vizier of the heir who lies below in particulate form,
Water born again….not at journey’s end,
But re-baptized in death, now to begin life anew.

One lone sentry. Set apart to bid watch.
Kindred depart to resume the journey.
The sentry gull, not laughing, neither sad
Stays until tide’s turn.

— Chris Huff, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Summerville, S.C.