For Neal



















Here is the book you never wrote.
Here are the secrets you couldn't suppress.
Here is the heart of what we needed to know.
Here is the song you never composed,
the poem in its infancy, tiny bones just unbending.

It's the joy a man has, you said - with joy! -  
even in a broken world.
The joy in coaxing music and grace from a thing once dead...
The joy in a simple life lived with purpose...
The joy in loving one so well and so long that love returned
staggers you.

Joy in faith.

Joy in the unknown.

Joy in beauty and truth and hope...
Even in sorrow and pain and doubt.

You, with your crooked smile - laughing at yourself, shrugging - said, 
I want to write about joy,
but I don't know how.

Oh my brother, your heart...

Your heart,
Your laugh,
Your song.

Your love, your mind, your faith, your great soul...

Oh my brother, your heart...

You are the book you never wrote.


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