Song of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to introduce Gene Hodge as a new Frequent Contributor and Poet of the Week. Gene's biography may be found on the "Our Staff" page.
Old man Fred
sucks on a cigarette
and watches the passing day.
Nothing to do . . . but
wallow in declining health
he scratches his unshaven face . . .
then turns to watch the L&N Train
two blocks away.
Driving by his house
I wave and blow my horn.
His stare follows me
up the street and around a curve.
As I top the hill
he appears beside me—
I tell him . . . he’ll always be my friend
and how special his presence—
sitting on the porch—
fills the emptiness of this mundane morning.
Poet’s Notes: Fred is a man around whom I once worked and came to know. I remember him much younger, healthy with dark hair—always jubilant. He lives close by where I often run. It used to thrill him to drive-up quietly behind me—while I was running—and blow his horn, then ask if I needed a ride. A neighbor told me that Fred’s health was failing and he is now past driving. Occasionally, I see him sitting on his front porch and I am filled with love and compassion.
Editor’s Note: I enjoy the wistful mood Gene creates here as well as the way he plays with time. The positive ending is poignant but uplifting.