Sunday, 19 April 1998

After a death

Strange man it seems
There is a constant flow of people in and out
all giving support to the widow
I talk to some and it seems that none of them ever really listened to him
They knew him as the man they'd take their lawn-mower to and he'd fix it
They had "known" him for many years
yet they did not know him at all
I used to go over when he and i were both alone
and we would sip whiskey and i'd listen to his stories
he had had such an amazing life i could listen for hours
he and i used to agree on so many things and i felt very comfortable with him
i never bothered him with my own affairs (i was after all the younger man)
though he would generously ask about how my business was going
because i travel so much now i always dropped off something for him on my return
sometimes cigarettes, other times a "loto" ticket from abroad
i'd been away a long time recently and had not seen him
i guess i should have noticed he was not around much the week i came back
i sought him out a few times as i usually do, hanging 'round the woodpile
waiting to see him come out of the house
i though not much of it
so full of my own troubles

we talked of God once or twice
he claimed a strange agnosticism that was both deeply spiritual and quaint
in his own way he was at peace with the universe
but something changed while i was away
and i was no help when he obviously needed it
now i look at my changed world
changed not just by his death but so many other things
and wonder what's for me and mine
i guess i will stick around a while
a Steppenwolf
a watcher
what else can i do?

(Ah Paganini do i hear you call?)

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