Still Life

He sits in shadows
Staring out at life.
Waiting for a friend to come
And take him by the hand
And lead him out to glory
In the warmth of sunlight streaming down
But no one comes.

And so he waits
And satisfies himself that
Life goes on about him
But without him there.
And life in general
Suffers for the lack.
It simply isn’t true to say
He never paid the price.
God knows (if no one else)
He made the motions
Which society prescribes.
He spent two decades raising kids
And sent them strong into a world
He didn’t make.
To fight for causes which
He couldn’t understand.
And never whimpered once.

The cost of that alone
Was more than five full years
Of sweat and broken nails.
And sixteen more of living
With a woman that he hardly knew
Except at night
When everything was dark.
And yet he paid the price.
And now he waits for
Something in return.
Who never made a castle out of sand
Because he knew
The retribution of the waves.
And never made a friend
He didn’t need.

So darkness comes
And still he waits.
Sitting somewhere between
The roses that he grew one summer
When the soil was wet with rain
And two small plaques he bought
And nailed against the wall
Because a boy came by one night
And he could see the hunger in his eyes.
And wonders at the folly
Of the world.