H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n






I Shouldn’t Have To Do This



“I shouldn’t have to do this,” says the rabbi

at the graveside, bending down to kiss the casket

in his red skullcap. “Even though he was old &

sick, even though it was his time to go and I have

conducted funeral after funeral, even though I have

lead the mourner’s prayer for his wife, my own––

this is no small task... so very few of us remain &

I’d always assumed it would be him where now I

stand, saying those words over me... But now

you’re dead, my oldet friend, & with you the world I

know lies now beneath these feet... I shouldn’t

have to do this,” he says, & close the prayer book

& bows his head.



24 February 1997



 [Originally published in NHS 1997, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs97/index.html#37.]