Ending on fishy Paumanok where I will die
Not forgotten, nor praised as a perfect father,
O Cameradas, birds of a pinioned feather,
Flock for me once on that American day.

Women and men I have loved, omnes redoubtable,
Set up a round in turn for each pallbearer
Down across from the duck pond at the Greenbriar.
My hands are gone with the shuffleboard and the old pool table.

Between the dunes and the sheet of the sloshing Sound
Trek east, my squad, tiny as sandpipers.
Westward for sundown the mighty sky prepares.
My will is done, my office reassigned.

One boulder big as a stranded lunar module
Lets suck the ebb its clotted mussel clutches.
Think kindly as your driftwood kindling catches
How the Stagirite said it is good to stick to the middle.

The greatness of Love, the greatness of Democracy
All have adored or hated more than enough.
Americanos! Libertad! O age, age neuf!
It is up to you now to choose to be sane or crazy.

Back where the builders stack new ruins of brick
Delve not for this mysterious culture’s features
Beneath blockhouses of prehistoric futures,
But speak plainly to male and female at Stony Brook,

Reporting all heroism from an American point of view.
Masses, poets, philosophs, total wrecks,
I will be gone where the mindless cradle rocks,
While you shake hands with the empty glove of your vow.

This Issue

February 2, 1984