For Chris

It is odd, how years beyond your death,
I remain loyal. Now when I think of our last
Goodbye — the hug that tempered your arms
With steel despite your failing health —
It renews my sense of goodness in you,
Friendship that could outlast a thousand wars.

How I loved you Chris, in a way befitting
Arab and Jew — though we did not see ourselves
As such, but set first and last about weaving
A tapestry of years and words, ideas, nothing
Else, pastel patterns of hope flickering in
The Camp David accords, your cigarette

Smoke, mood, like sips of chamomile tea,
To stoke omnipotent passion for language,
Type and print, poems, wind rippling
The Mississippi, on levees of the Crescent City,
Your raucous laugh and toss of hair, savoring
Each irony — small peace — praising life.

This poem was first published in July 2001, in Vol. 2, Issue 3 of Kota Press.

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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is the former Managing Editor at the Leeb Group (2012-2017); a former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); and a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991). She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977). During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others. She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects. Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel's Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales' award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine. Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

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