So long, so long, so long,
(Wishing you safe travels, 
a roof over your head,
food in your belly, and
good company ‘til the very end.)
You’d sing the tune from the front porch
of Stockley Road. We’d press our fingers 
against the car window, itching to spend 
five more minutes in a home where 
the sun never set.
You wrote this new Shema, passed it
down to one Hutton, then the next.
Used it to remind us that blessings
come in threes, like the Trinity,
or the law of too much, 
not enough, just right.
But deaths can come in threes, too, 
& I’m afraid, in all of our fun,
we fed too many pennies to the
bellies of your novelty slot machines
and have none left for your eyes.
I hope they don’t snap open to show
where you’ve gone.
So long, so long, so long,
we all sang, off-key,
wailing as they tucked you in,
packed the dirt so tight
you’d never be able to push it off.
You rested like a thick knot of roots
under the sprawling branches
of extended family, here to sing
for your soul.
Martin Hopson is a poet, musician, and educator from West Chester. Pennsylvania. He is an associate editor for Peach Velvet Magazine, and his works have appeared in Panoply and Daedalus. He holds a BSEd and MA in creative writing from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He has also twice been selected to participate at Poetry by the Sea, a global poetry conference.

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