(Pretty old man, walking down the street)
He was just an old man with an always-favored hat on his twice-bleached head, and with a petrified face that had two ancient ears and one overgrown nose pulling down on the four miles of wrinkles in his countenance.
I watched as he hobbled passed and down, swinging his cane and rubber-stamping his well-worn street. He certainly was somebody I’d like to meet, for he was still somebody’s father, ‘boys, you know…for all he’s aged and poor and slow:’ I wanted to know his know, and question deeply all the stories he’d want to tell. I would not fail to friendly-ask him how many failures he had passed through; how many gods he had tried and found wanting; how many good deeds he had chosen to do during his octogenetic spree. Though he hulked a fashionette rag from yesteryear on hap-hanging shoulders, and presented with liver-spotted leather on both of his frail veined hands, he kept signing, somehow, not turning a look to me as he went, nor noticing my own equally age-gladdened grace.
As he moved on out of my near sight, slowly amble-footing down to his somewhere, I smiled, thinking that he would be okay: this I could tell from my muse here on his walk-a-by. The meanings that harbored in those old bones of life, still sparkled out from his moving mound of atoms, attesting to everyone, that he would always be—down in the someplace of a young one’s life—somebody’s dad of the highest order.
For Mary Dow Brine (1816-1913) - From ‘My Poems to Their Poems’ series, Dumas fils