“O Captain, my Captain,” Walt Whitman’s wise ol’ words
immortalized by Keating, “Carpe Diem” overheard.
I knew him first as Sayer who conquered ALS,
surprised to find that comedy was where he was the best.
Year in and year out, the characters he played
became his lasting legacy, leaving no one dismay’d.
He screamed “Good Morning, Vietnam!” Cronauer howled on-air,
As Jack he was a pre-teen who had lots of facial hair.
He battled Dustin Hoffman’s Hook, avenged poor Rufio,
and Einstein would have been impressed with him as Dr. Know.
Though often he would make us laugh all throughout the year,
on occasion he would make us think, or jerk a timid tear.
Mrs. Doubtfire and Patch Adams were among his combo roles,
these made us laugh and made us cry, they fed the weary soul.
At times, when he was lifeless (Fender and Bicentennial Man)
he taught us how to smile despite the doubt that robots can.
He can be the bad guy too, if he wants to be
Just see what Rainbow Randolph did to his cute enemy.
“One Hour Photo” and “The Final Cut” add thrillers to his fame
but anyone who’s anyone knows that laughter is his game.
Ramon, Lovelace, Genie, Batty Koda, Bob Munro,
Mork from Ork and Teddy R., Simon from that crazy show.
I would “Jumanji” all these tears back up into my head
but “on the deck this captain lies, fallen cold and dead.”—Z