the pipe-smoker,
whose cursive-hand bedeviled me,
as it skipscrawled over the pages
cataloguing what looks like mess
to us but is mss. to the wise in matters
scholastic. Lay him to rest,  

the patient respondent
who interrupted his labor at Lombard
to write to the teacher in Fort Wayne
about the genius of medieval
art and thought. Lay him to rest,  

the brother caring
for family far-flung in life and death,
with suffrages borne of love,
silent caring. Lay him to rest,  

the giant striding across decades
and leaving tome-sized footsteps
translating not only texts but love
embodied in the Poverello’s band
from Assisi to Oxford to Paris,
to Quaracchi, to Grottaferrata and Olean
and here in this cocoon of knowledge
where in only a month
you awakened for me.