Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skipping Stones

Suddenly I saw him as he must have been--
a scrawny boy with scraped elbows in dusty bib overalls
squatting by the side of a rocky creek,
skipping stones across its surface--
In his jeans, flannel jacket and straw hat
he stretches on the post office's metal bench
and sings Rolling in My Sweet Baby's Arms
and carries on a conversation with himself
about being in the Air Force
and walking to the post office--
But before he came to this,
before he was a working man,
before he was a father,
or a husband or a student,
he was a small boy with scabby elbows
and nothing more important to do
than skipping stones across a rocky creek.


Brighid said...

Thank You from me and for him.

Nance said...

good. very very good.

Mama-Bug said...

A very eye-opening piece Susanna; it really touched my heart. I wonder how many like him are all around us and we never notice. Never think about his past life.

Granny Sue said...

He seemed so happy, and content with his own company. I did wonder if he was an Alzheimer patient that was out on his own, but how can a person tell? He was attempting conversation with many people but most brushed him off. In a case like that, what would you do? He was quite able to walk around, and didn't seem to be a danger to himself. He touched my heart because obviously he had been someone else at one time, fully functioning. And yet...he did not seem unhappy as he was.

Markin said...

I think that's your best poem to date -- in any case, my favourite so far.


Nanjemoy Nana said...

I'd like to think I would talk to him. If he was sitting so would I. I love this poem. I'm glad you saw him. I'm wondering what his name is. I'm thinking past your poem because with those few sentences it started a whole realm of possibilities and a story. You are so amazing with words and ALWAYS fire my imagination up. :)

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