Dr. Liu

Here’s to three years of “Let There Be Peace on Earth,”
singing for it repeatedly and never seeing even one day
of world peace anytime in the 55 years since our final plea.
Oh, the operas we enhanced, we kids singing as loudly
as any prima donna gracing the Hawai‘i Opera Theater stage.
From Carmen through Mimi we attended every death volubly.

And then there was the time you called me at work,
the background noise making it hard to hear your voice.
What I thought I heard then shouted out, “You got into Harvard?”
And the answer you shouted back, “Howard! Howard!”

Then when you came home on break from medical school,
we went to see Moonraker and ate pizza afterwards.
Out of nowhere in the middle of whatever you were saying,
you blurted out, “How can you make a boring James Bond movie!”
I laughed so hard you almost had to Heimlich me.

The last time I saw you was on our Zoom class reunion.
I mentioned the children’s opera chorus, to which you replied
your father had this crazy idea you could sing when you couldn’t.
I mentioned violin; you said that was his crazy idea, too.
You couldn’t figure out why he thought you had any talent.

Listening today to Carol, Jackie, Marilyn, and Jeff
recollecting your life’s achievements and all you’d meant to them,
I recalled those moments, all the times that we shared,
and smiled remembering the ways our paths crossed in this life.

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