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``What do you do with mail for a
dead man?''

What do you do with mail for a dead man?
Every few weeks, something new comes -
A catalog, or a request for donations from some conservative political cause -
For my grandfather, who died four years ago this Christmas.

Should we forward them to the cemetery?
Or hold a seance to reach the Postmaster-General of the afterlife?

The obvious thing to do is send it back,
With a note, ``This man will no longer buy your products, or contribute to your cause! Leave him alone!''
But what if, as some say, we yet live on
While memory of us persists on Earth?

What if appearing the the database of L.L. Bean or the Republican Party
Makes him a little less dead, a little closer
To immortality,
So long as they maintain their memory of him?

I don't want my loved ones to be forgotten,
I want them to be missed.
And if these people miss him just a little -
Miss his business, or his contributions -
At least that's something,
Some way that I'm a little bit less alone
In feeling his absence.

Tom Swiss