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O Gatsby! My Gatsby!

O Gatsby! My Gatsby!

O GATSBY! my GATSBY! Our sixteen years are done;
Your body weather’d every wrack, except for this last one;
You beat back Cushings, conquered couches- yet squirrels are exulting,
Your stature gone, the back yard teems with critters now cavorting:

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the shedding fur of brown,
Where on the tile my Gatsby lies,
Fallen cold and down.

O Gatsby! my Gatsby! rise up and meet the days;
Rise up—for you the milk bone’s flung—for you the beagle bays;
For you steak bits and chicken strips—for you the couches clamor;
For you they call, for your frayed, worn fur; their lonely cushions langour;

Here Gatsby! dear puppy!
Your tongue lolls from your head;
I’ll miss you always underfoot,
Now that you’re cold and dead.

My Gatsby does not answer, his ribs don’t rise and fall;
(So deaf was he, were he alive, he would not hear my call;)
The house is seal’ed, safe and sound, the mailman’s locked without;
Your honored foe – tomorrow here – Of that I have no doubt!

Exult, O fences, and rest easy, carpets!
As I fight back a tear,
And warm the couch my Gatsby wore,
Fallen cold and dear.

With thanks to Walt Whitman, who wrote O Captain! My Captain! in honor of Abraham Lincoln.

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  1. Tracy
    March 29th, 2011 at 22:23 | #1

    What a beautiful tribute to a sweet and loving soul. Thanks so much for sharing this. I didn’t know Gatsby, but you’ve captured with humor and feeling what he must have been like. Walt Whitman would be honored.

  2. Sharon
    March 30th, 2011 at 08:58 | #2

    Tears are falling on my keyboard and hands as I think of Gatsby no more a Red Oak occupant.
    Big, warm hugs to each of you,
    Aunt Sharon and Gary

  3. Jennifer A.
    March 30th, 2011 at 11:55 | #3

    What you wrote brought tears to my eyes. He was a character. My favorite story was when he went straight through the screen after a squirrel or when Amy would talk about standing guard at the table so he wouldn’t steal anything. He really loved life and you guys did right by him.
    Thinking of all of you and I know how hard it is,

  4. Andre
    March 30th, 2011 at 12:08 | #4

    Thanks 🙂

    I wrote that last month, anticipating the end.

    So I was astonished when, as we pulled up to the house when returning from the vet yesterday evening … there were two big cats on the front lawn! And as the kids went up the walk to the front door, two does and a buck went flying down the boulevard.

    Cavorting, indeed!

    Harrumph, Gatsby. Harrumph.

  5. Theresa
    April 1st, 2011 at 12:48 | #5

    This is beautiful, André! Thank you for writing this, then sharing it. Inspiring how you’ve captured a moment here, and you’ll be able to look back and feel and remember this moment and Gatsby’s life, thanks to taking the time to put your feelings down now. Lots of tears over here. Gatsby is a beautiful, tender soul.

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