Cabbages and kings

Once we talked to

friends of their

children, their

houses, their

careers, their

plans and dreams;

of the books

they were writing,

films they had seen,

art they had created,

gardens they had grown.

Now we talk to

friends of their

illnesses, their

operations, their

diseases, their

pills and potions

and prognoses,

of who has died

and who will die



We need a

Richter scale

for major personal

events that

rattle our core,

shake our life,

leave fissures

in our psyche.

Sometimes we

can put books

back on our

mental shelves,

replace broken

windows, rebuild

fallen walls.

But sometimes

the mind is

left all out of

joint forever.