Elegy to My Former Accountant, Jimbo!

by Ruth Z Deming


(some details have been changed)

Every month, Jimbo, I would drive

to your house on Red Barn Road, your

office in the cement-smelling

basement, where we'd go over

my mounds of papers.

Your mood disorder, we thought,

was caused by sexual abuse at the

seminary. You wanted to

be a servant of Christ.

Plied with red wine,

you were made drunk by two

priests in black garb. How

your voice trembled

as we talked about it.

Cancer stalked you. When one

variety left, another one came.

Your throat cancer left you

talking like a hoarse

Bruce Springsteen.

Remember when we went upstairs

and both bent over the open

fridge? You made me a ham sandwich,

Jew that I am. On seeded rye

with mayo mustard lettuce and

fat slices of Jersey tomatoes.

We sat at the table. That witch

of a wife wasn't home. She

almost left you after your

diagnosis and your monthly shots

of Prolixin.

"Delicious," I said. "This is

as close as we'll ever get

to having sex."

You died in 2016. I left a

comment on the Legacy note,

calling you Jimbo.

What I'd like to do

is visit you at the cemetery.

The tombstones are shaped

like teeth. I'd fling myself

down, weep, and say, Valiant Warrior,

your journey is done. You,

dear Jimbo, remain

embedded deep in my heart.

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