05/09/2012 12:53 pm ET Updated Jul 09, 2012

An Ode to Maurice Sendak

"I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more." -- Maurice Sendak

You started your career as an illustrator,
But ended your life as one of the greatest innovators
At showing children dealing
With the complexities of adult feelings
Like growth and change,
Survival and rage.

No reader was the same
After turning the page
And joining Max on his journey
To where Wild Things hurry,
Helping Mickey in the Kitchen as he makes
Batter for the Morning Cakes,
Joining Ida Outside, Over There
To rescue the sister left in her care,
And attending a crazy birthday party
For the mischievous Bumble-Ardy.

You wanted to help children process
Their emotions as they progressed
Through a life that's not always what they imagined -

At times almost savage
With your honesty;
All I ask is that you promise me
You'll be waiting up there when I get my shot
At immortality -
With a smile to greet me,
Holding supper - still hot.