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posthumous praise pours out
with all the bittersweetness
of too little too late,
a cascade leaden with regret,
a familiar call and response,
the side effect of death is appreciation.

now the solar flares
of overdue recognition
burst from every page and screen,
scalding you with their importunity,
obituary, tribute, overview, résumé.

resentment stirs for
the bandwagon jumpers,
their feet still trailing
in the dusty wake
of a beleaguered talent.
the johnny come latelys who
bask belatedly in the reflected glory.

daring to claim him now,
prepared to be generous

now he’s in the grave
and no longer the thorn

in the side of the establishment,
they gladly cut him the slack
so rarely afforded him alive.chanspicofgrant

I hold a long island
iced tea party in my head.
I do this in remembrance
of grant at first avenue.


Picture of Grant by Chantal Latchford