A Selfish Request

When it happens that I die,
forgo the truth if you must;
hesitate not to lie
in the days after I return to dust.

Tell not my daughters
of how I broke your heart;
Neglect to cite in the presence of my sons
that my integrity had a late start.

And when you see my wife -
in her misery - I bid you spare her.
Induce no memories that would elicit pain or strife.
Recall not that she almost loved another.

Instead remind her that on my worst days
her letters and smiles made things okay.
And tell her that my favorite days on the calendars
were the ones that allowed me to be with her.

When I die I charge you with this one task -
though it might be unreasonable to ask:
permit not your memories to indulge my less glorious ways;
remember me only for my best days.





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