By Milton P. Ehrlich

Boarding the Last Ferry

Standing room only.

I really don’t want to die.

You are not alone.
Happens to the best of us.
With no sugar in your tea

You’ve had your last few laughs.

Bring along a little schnapps instead.

Brace yourself for being ready

to face the great Unknown

Unknown of who you were

and maybe will still be.

It may surprise you.

Keep your knees loose,

and bring along a picture

of the love of your life.

It may help you find her.

Your burning hearts

continue to glow.

She is waiting for you.

Marriage: The Art of Differing

Shadows of a dancing couple

appeared on my window shade

in the early morning sunshine.

The woman looked like Calamity Jane,

a tobacco-spitting, beer-guzzling,

foul-mouth woman, who preferred

men’s clothing to dresses, and

renowned for her sharp-shooting.

She married a man from Skunktown

who made a living selling skunk pelts.

No one else could tolerate his stink.

Well suited to each other, they had

no trouble resolving their differences

and had a loving marriage for years.

Paradise is still a long way off.

I’m on My Way

To my memorial service.

All my family is present,

but all old friends are absent

due to death and dementia.

I’m pleased to witness

how eager my family
members are to collect

my poetry journals that

contain my poems.

It also comforts me no end

to see I left them all enough
savings for them to endure

any future recessions.

Please ask whoever is in charge

of my burial to order a double

size coffin for me and my wife

who was a non-stop talker

when she was with us.

I’m sure if I listen carefully

I will find out what she is saying.

I would also like her to listen to

one of my favorite tunes:

Ain’t misbehaving, because I’m

saving all my love for you.

I Treasure My Breathing

It not only keeps me alive,

it’s a safe place I return to

whenever my luck runs out.

My breath always embraces 

me when no one else is there.

If the rug gets pulled out

from under me and no one

seems to care, it speaks the

language of love in every

language known to man.

A life that never needs to

be rescued does not exist.

I keep knocking on wood

to have breath to return to

until my knuckles are bled dry.

The Queen Of Maskachka

She was supernaturally beautiful,

and way too good for this world.

Traumatized by the war in Bosnia

and Herzegovina, her childhood  

was a wild and dangerous ride.

She celebrated life singing and

dancing her way along. She made

mean and ugly objects fair, revealing

an underlying radiance of love for

one and all that captivated audiences

at Klub Kodeks and Zlatna Ribica.

For years our lives crisscrossed in Maspeth

synchronously walking the same streets

off Fresh Pond Road and attending the

same school with the Rosicrucian Principal.

Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is a 90-year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

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