David Lehman

No breakfast except a cup

of yesterday's leftover coffee

plus my usual cocktail

of vitamins, minerals, chemicals

and placebos and you're already

peppering me with queries

about Ford's pardon of Nixon,

Saddam Hussein hanging,

James Brown dancing,

and Robert Altman talking

when the dead voices I want

to hear sing are those of Anita O'Day

and Betty Comden who died the same day

or maybe just their obits appeared

on the same day in the Times

have you ever noticed how many deaths

of old famous people happen in December

that's because god's working overtime

to meet the quota it's easy to believe

the market's up 63.52 but I'm hearing

Anita O'Day sing "Falling in Love with Love"

which Rodgers wrote with Hart

a better way for the day to start


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