As a child I learned to celebrate endings.
Years end in birthdays,
and school ends in summer or proms or graduation.

But careers and friendships and lives end
in argument or silence,
with spectacular failure or long, slow fading.

I wish that I could graduate from life;
be valedictorian of my dying class,
and see my honors listed in the program.

Waving my diploma above my head,
I would invite everyone to the party
at the house of my ancestors.

Together, we would make our plans
for three lazy months in the Summer Lands,
and a new beginning at some invisible college far away.

Doug Muder