Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > IV. Time & Eternity > 61. “If anybody’s friend be dead”
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Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part Four: Time and Eternity

LXI


IF anybody’s friend be dead,
It’s sharpest of the theme
The thinking how they walked alive,
At such and such a time.
  
Their costume, of a Sunday,        5
Some manner of the hair,—
A prank nobody knew but them,
Lost, in the sepulchre.
  
How warm they were on such a day:
You almost feel the date,        10
So short way off it seems; and now,
They ’re centuries from that.
  
How pleased they were at what you said;
You try to touch the smile,
And dip your fingers in the frost:        15
When was it, can you tell,
  
You asked the company to tea,
Acquaintance, just a few,
And chatted close with this grand thing
That don’t remember you?        20
  
Past bows and invitations,
Past interview, and vow,
Past what ourselves can estimate,—
That makes the quick of woe!

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