A Few Lines for Sue

She liked dry martinis
and the Episcopal Church.
She would have loved Pope Francis.
She knew Mary Oliver slightly
and Bishop Barbara Harris.
She disdained narrow minds,
fled from grudging hearts.

In her young adulthood
(the 1950s, mind you),
she’d scandalize the family
by breakfasting on beer and pizza.
She went to college,
didn’t marry,
studied mathematics,
became a professor.

I miss her shock of silver hair
(in her last few months, a wig),
her mannish suits, her deadpan wit.
Those dinners at Henrietta’s Table,
Sue and Mom and Ronald and me,
cousins solving every problem
of church and state
over wine and apple brandy.

Do Not Judge Me For Staying