A few weeks ago I posted a prayer request for our friend Paul Cherenzia, who was battling cancer.  After several weeks of seeming recovery, Paul died quickly last night.  Please rememebr Paul’s wife Janice and their son and daughters and grandchildren in your prayers. Memorial services are still being planned but will be held Saturday, probably in Mooresville, NC.

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The following is a poem for Paul, named by Paul, and taken from my book manuscript of the same name.

Better With Friends
—for Paul

Yesterday three friends sat in folding chairs in front of their cars,
waiting for trains.

So naturally this morning, as the fog bears down
once again on the tree line at the back of the yard,

I’m seeking that perfect phrase,
as if memory weren’t powerful enough for the capture.

A few evergreens—and rhododendron for hope—grow
on the side of a hill with the orange of the berries of the holly.

The train obediently sounded its whistle,
while diesel-smoke rose—drifting above the blue Conrail—

starting where a road crosses the track and a sign says Dendron,
blowing back toward the east, darkening a small part of the sky

like a rain cloud.  We watched the engineer wave, as—
even in January—we came prepared with blankets for our legs.

Our radios talked and cameras clicked.  The train chugged up
the Blue Ridge, the mountain leaf-brown, washed-out,

winter-lovely.

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