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A Gifting

A breeze freshened, then turned cold,
Another old story now to be retold:
Of seasonal wishes and hopes reborn,
Chances taken even if burnished by scorn.
Crossing the tracks, he walked into Tiny Tim’s store
Sunlight followed him in just like the weeks before
The shopkeeper smiled to see the young man arrive
Another payment to place, was it number four or five?
Four payments left and then soon Christmas comes,
That time of roasted chestnuts and puddings with plums.
Back to Cross Grocery and shelves to stack and refill
Earning his money for rent, food, and that toy store bill.
Twas a sudden quirk storm that roared into town:
Rain, billowing snow, then sleet rocketed down.
An SUV late for choir practice risked running the ringing gate,
But the Autotrain was faster, STOP!
…but, too late.
The clerk flew across the tracks to help if he could;
He pulled out the shopkeeper, nice old Josiah Wood,
And a couple of customers getting their purchases done;
Then, stayed with that car driver, trapped and sore alone.
Car and train had finished their dance at the toy store back door;
All happily survived, but that prepaid toy was of course no more.
Christmas Eve, and the clerk had just walked back home
To start his Ursa chili with his Woolworth’s pots of chrome.
A knock on the door, and oh my goodness, there on his stoop stood
That railroad councilwoman, and on crutches, Mister Josiah Wood!
Beckoning them to come in and get out of the cold,
Our clerk blushed in worry about what could be told.
Mister Wood then handed our clerk a box as he brushed away a tear:
The Lionel Train Set the clerk had been paying for over the past half year.
Pop-eyed, our clerk struggled to make good on giving proper appreciation,
The councilwoman said it’s they who wished to reward his aid and application.
The clerk still said thank you, for this most important gift, was meant for another—
A gentleman at the Ashland Nursing Home, a railroad friend of his departed mother.
The wind slowed to a pause for this, a new holiday silent night.
Twinkling merrily did the Christmas lights make for a sweet sight.
And, for our good neighbors who may forget old holiday rhymes,
It’s nice to remember: “For it is good to be children sometimes.”

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Just A Number

Misbehaving twenty-somethings—
Marching in a row
Aggravated sixty-somethings—
Have forgotten what they ought to know

Oldish and youngish—
Not sure wherefore is the right
Love comes in from the other way;
It’s gonna be a very long night

End stage eighty-somethings—
Head for their nursing home bed
Unaccountable teenyboppers—
Would rather be most anywhere else instead

Newborn steamy babies—
Shine with all their total love
Dead and buried 100-somethings—
Soar with the praeternatural deities above

Numbers adhere to the ages—
It pretty much adds up well
Who old are are you?
Won’t you tell?

Ritardando

Chubby cheeked cherub
Racing with the wind and the cat,
All is simply simple.
All is hugs and parents’ smile.
Now homework weighs so much.
Nary a grin in quite a while.
How goes it?
We’ll see.
So she is now gone
Like a faded away chord.
The little angel has flown;
A young lady is now aboard.
How goes it?
We’ll see.

Now abed in New Burnt Oaks;
The white coat says six months or so.
Daughter is my power attorney—
Do you need anything Papa…no, baby, no.
But do you remember racing the wind?
But do you remember hugs all day?
I’m so sorry I can’t run with you now.
I’m sorry things have turned out this way.
How goes it?
We’ll see.

Now I am gone away
Like a faded away minor chord.
Daughter chases grandson across the yard.
Both are very much simply adored.
How will it all go?
You’ll see.

A Great Beginning

Remember when too much was a great beginning
We’re so mature now
Remember how we fell for their sparkling eyes
We’re so much more mature now
Remember when buying the next album was SO TERRIBLY IMPORTANT
We’re so so mature now
Now Mama’s in hospice
Such a really nice place
Cannot remember the room number
She cannot remember my face
Remember Mama’s own too good recipe for love
We’re so getting mature now
Remember that parking space up behind the levee
Oh, too mature for all that now
Remember that first Domilisies’s half-oyster with a Barq’s
But finally I’ve achieved maturity now
One day I’ll be in hospice
Hope it’ll have a really nice place
Cannot find my Medical Power Of Attorney
Cannot find my Advanced Directives any place
But never will I forget those sparkling eyes
Oh but, now so mature and wise
“Beatles’ new record’s a GAS…”