I’ll never forget

The night you died.

It had been

A beautiful day outside,

Unseasonably warm

For the second of May,

Your 88th birthday

Three weeks away.

Saw the chickens

On our block,

Filmed them, too;

The “Birds and Girls”

Even they loved you.

Hoped to show you

The film clip

You would’ve smiled to see,

But it just wasn’t

Meant to be.


I remember the things

We’d laugh about,

Doors you’d find

When others

Saw no way out;

The no-nonsense

Advice you gave:

How your courage

Made us brave!

The kindness you showed

To all whom you met,

Even people the world

Has chosen to forget.


COVID closed the Senior Centers

And Libraries down;

We still found a way

To have fun around town.

We’d ride anywhere

In that silver jalopy,

Fresh-air walks, shopping centers,

The Dollar Tree,

The fabric stores

On Jamaica Avenue –

You’d sew matching dresses,

One for each of us two!


Fort Totten

Was our “Happy Place” –

Army Reserve, Fire Department,

And Coast Guard training base;

Still, charm and splendor

Surrounded us there.

We could walk for miles,

We’d be walking on air,

By the river, the bird field

Paths we knew by heart,

An outdoor gallery of

Hashem’s works of art.


We’d sing HaTikvah

Together each day

Before I would be

Off on my way.


As your last day faded,

The night turned cold,

Hour by hour,

It looked bad, we were told.

In the hospital,

One foot on earth

The other in heaven,

Prayed so hard

To see that smile again.

When the last call came through

We instantly knew:

HaKadosh Baruch Hu

Had sent for you.


I’ll never forget

That solemn ride,


On the night you died;

The hospital had closed

But they let us through

To spend our last

Few moments with you.

Your respirator,

All the tubes unhooked,

I remember thinking

How beautiful you looked;

Your tapered fingers,

Your lovely face,

In the sacred quiet

Of that terrible place.


Your words now

Keep coming

Back to me,

The quiet faith and integrity.

It’s been nearly

One year’s time,

I miss you

Emmalika of mine.

I guess it’ll be nice

To hear music again,

But nothing’s the same

Since I lost my best friend.


I know that you’re happy

With loved ones

And Hashem,

That one day

I’ll get to see you again.

I’m thankful

I was granted

Your kind soul

As my guide:

Its light fills my heart

Since the night you died.


By Sharon Marcus