one day in Philly

i stood in Christ Church Burial Ground
in front of a familiar name
i could not place
how i knew him – or why
i was so moved.

the moss on his headstone
was deep green and older than me
and the accumulation of years
on the stone left the letters
difficult to read

we are not related, I’m sure
except that we are both men
who breathed, who loved,
who wanted and wished and needed
who hoped and tried and learned
who grieved and ached and loved

for that, i sighed,
it is enough to know we’re brothers.

later at the City Tavern
after a pepperpot and some braised rabbit
i knocked back Ben Franklin’s brew
and toasted that stranger’s name
that i’d already forgotten,
“To a life, that it might be remembered.”