It’s too much to ask to come up with a closing line
to equal John Adams’s “Jefferson still survives,”
even if that was not quite true
on that pre-internet/pre-Twitter
50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence
when Adams couldn’t have known
that Jefferson had died earlier in the day.
It would be tacky to plagiarize Walter Lance with,
“Buh-duh, buh-duh, buh-duh, That’s All Folks!”
and “Yo Jesus, wassup?” doesn’t seem quite right, either.
I wonder how many leave this realm
calling out “Momma,” an echo
of the word with which they began?
My Dad’s “Oh, oh, my back, my back” when his
abdominal aortic aneurism exploded
was certainly no match for the
raunchy one-liners from the rest of his life.
So I’d like to excel in this area of Last Words,
but rehearsing seems unseemly.
Would it be better to trust to spontaneity
when the time arrives?
No, after all this talk, failing to prepare a final speech
would be like trying not to think of a pink elephant,
so I’ll work at it.
Unfortunately, “Hello Darkness, my old friend”
has already been taken, though in different context.
I’ll probably make do with,
“Oh crap, I always knew this was going to happen.”