He was kind to me
without any reason or agenda
sitting among his folded life
rifling through the imaginary numbers
that meant nothing to anyone
except him
he looked so alone
but that is how he preferred
to march, the beat of his drum steady

He sat me down with patience
as if I was his grandson and told me
silly jokes that always meant more
because he was telling them, with
snowy hair like an egret pulled to
one side in a style that has long since
been retired, it was the little boy in him
that related to the little boy in me

He would call me in his way, making
my triple syllable name into a single
smooth low baritone that dragged on for
two seconds too long, but it had a wry
humor filling and I knew there was
something to look forward to, a limerick
a fable or a question, with a twinkle
and a smirk his questions turned into
life lessons, and I, his unknowing protege
collected the gems of his life and
wrapped them in my thick curls to wear
like a crown

and when his walk became strained and
his pride broke, I carried his bags with
a smile and a joke, never letting on that there
was anything out of the ordinary

and when his breathing went ragged and
his jokes fell into silence I would laugh
at the memory of a punchline and tickle the
riddle of imagination till the twinkle would
sparkle once more, lackluster though it
may have been, it showed strength and that
he was still there

and when he could no longer do the work
that defined his life I would tease and provoke,
I would humor and chide, I would remind him
of what tied together the days of compassion
and he would groan a thank you with eyes
half closed and a failing vessel

the nurses would say that the only time he
responded to anyone was when I would come
proud of accomplishments that meant more
because I could share them with him

my life flowed in, partly because of the man
who showed me a way to walk with integrity and
unconditional love, but I saw him less and less
I know it was what he wanted, never to be a
burden or be seen as less than what he was

what he may not have known at the end, or what
he may have been unwilling to accept, was that
even after he left this world, he will always be
the first powerful wind that lifted my kite and
allowed me to be among the stars



Joined January 2008

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 2

Artist's Description

About my friend Bob who passed away recently

Artwork Comments

  • silvercircles
  • jjgmail
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