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I Stared Sadly
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I Stared Sadly

Poem By Charles Chaim Wax

at Hugh
as he sat at the long table in
the Teacher’s Center
having no idea
what words would benefit him
because when I thought of his misfortune
my stomach churned.
As a staunch Irish Catholic
Hugh had renounced
his only child, Patrick,
after he revealed his homosexuality
then Patrick perished of AIDS
without a reconciliation
between father and son. Four months later
Hugh’s wife, Mary, fell ill. Cancer of the liver.
She suffered for six weeks,
then passed away.
He no longer attended Mass
proclaimed openly
Satan’s dominance,
on earth at least.
One day he asked
what
Buddhism
said of these events. I said,
“Joy is the absolute basis of
all existence,
inherent in the very substance
and structure of matter
and our duty is to tap
into that universal rapture. When we did
our suffering would cease.”
Hugh said,
“Gibberish.”

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