The Legacy

So quiet now with Dad and Mother gone.
My task today, to call the legatees,
in places past that once shaped their lives.
To each a small bequest, "in honor of."

Expecting gratitude and platitudes
I call their alma mater, and explain-
thinking of the photo of them, so young
and earnest, in mortarboards, commencing.

Next the art museum: I remember us,
children amid the mummies and Monets.
A dignified voice (not Midwest) thanks me,
"So kind of them to leave bequests for art."

I call the hospital foundation next,
"Both doctors, he a surgeon, long ago."
I give their names. A pause, and then she says,
"When I was a baby, he saved my life."

Poem Rating:
Click To Rate This Poem!

Continue Rating Poems

Share This Poem

This Poems Story

My parents were both physicians who practiced in Northwest Ohio for forty years before retiring in Massachusetts twenty-five years ago to be near me. I always knew that their real legacies would be in the lives of their patients. Nonetheless I was deeply moved by the last call I made on the day I phoned the charities named in their wills to verify addresses. This poem tells that story. The lady in the last stanza is now forty-four years old.