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You asked of late how I was,
I failed to answer.
I was in the company of Misery,
But not to fret;
Misery has been my companion long these short 62 years.
We are old close-kept friends,
But such marvelous blues:
Steel, royal, sky, ice, midnight,
And the pale blue-white of late sunset:
A miserable color as neither pure nor hearkening of dark.
But my friend—
I am well enough to run a half-mile
And smart enough to take a dosage of sufficient aspirin;
I no longer hurt so much,
But for the loneliness.
Misery shares such liberally with me,
We both explore the Small Empty.
In the fullness of Time I have shared great times
And small reverses with co-workers and patients and their families,
But no more.
I’m in between opportunities,
So I remain,
Yours truly,


Upon Closer Inspection

The opossum had wanted in.
He wanted to come in real bad.
He scritter-scratched at one vent;
He scrapper-skritched like he was mad.
Of course I understand critters wanting in:
The winter does right nasty by them.
But the problem mostly I had?
He was wanting in at 10:30PM!
Banging on the ceiling did no good,
Nor outside on the underside of the overhang!
So, at last I just had to grab the ladder
And go up on the roof—Just Dang!
Got up on there no problem,
Just barely saw the tail of poor dear.
Hope he finds somewhere [ELSE!]nice to winter,
And I wish him a Happy New Year!

Inspector Opossum Peter Francis O’Henry
Returned late to our Christmas Branch Office.
Looking harrumphed and worse for wear,
Seems something had gone quite amiss.
He was completing his annual inspection
For homes being correctly Christmas ready:
Like: “Stockings Hung With Care” and
“Tree Standing Upright And Steady.”
But, Peter was in a less than beaming mood;
Seems the last house was a tad of a goof:
The owner of the residence demurred him entry,
And even chased poor Peter off the roof!
He’d had to go back later to finish,
Opting to check in through a handy window,
He noted a pretty fir bright with light,
And that all looked correct, and properly so.
Peter wondered if his time had come,
Time to hang up his clipboard and end,
Til Santa came around to him and said:
“Ho, Ho, Ho, but you’re my best worker and friend!”

Everyone is ready for Christmas,
Peter F. O’Henry and me,
But if you hearing noises late at night,
Try not to take affright—
It’s just a FOS [Friend of Santa] checking out your tree!