Magnificent Living

Here is the poem, pulled from the air at Jefferson Market Library that vibrated with Peggy’s words.

Magnificent Living
for Peggy

words skipping across the branches like sparrows
words from when we came here to hear the plays
words about our friendship that still endures

I remember your words about Lisa—
“a combination of glamour and street”

words about your kindness
long after you’re gone
the sharp pain of magnificent living—
your words are still here

words that savor on the tongue
like the smoked salmon you loved so much

words that echo place and a time—
your bright smile—we’ll never forget

the unique rhythm in the words “Milwaukee mother”

words at the Kiev restaurant—
beef barley
sex after 50
your words make me understand the difference—
teaching with words to help us live better

words are not always
sometimes we need deeds

I wish I had more
words with you
about words
while I could still speak words
to you—
your dialogue always danced

thanks to this day I have a lifetime to cherish
thank you Peggy for the words you gave me
but wait
those weren’t sparrows
they were flamingos

words of Peggy, words of remembrance, soft
as the velvet curtain

words you translated—
my cat saying,
words so unassuming
like meeting you on 7th St and saying

a memory of many years ago
of getting on a subway car and recognising Peggy
who was my daughter’s nursery teacher as a young woman
being stunned by her beauty
she had beautiful red hair

your words of doubt
were prayer

Milwaukee memories with New York nuance—
humanist with words
friend and groupie of great jazzists
east village gal

Peggy, your life is a gift to everyone who knew you
your words a treasure forever



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