You were six when we saw the news that a young actor
had killed himself. I mentioned I had interviewed him
at the start of his career. You demanded:
“Why did you let him kill himself!”
A year before, when King Kong died at the end
of the movie, you asked, crying and angry:
“Did they have to kill him?” I wished then
I could have stopped that death and all the others.
You learned in time the limits of my power,
and not just for deaths I couldn’t prevent.
You know the limits to what we accomplish,
whatever the grandeur in what we attempt.
Now other young deaths are reported; new attempts
at good are unsuccessful. And I am grateful this afternoon
for a warm place to rest for an hour
and strong coffee on a cold, bleak day.