t-

This is just a name,

with an occasional ‘boy’ added,

an utterance, an  endearment, a memory,

a thought brings a tear today,

to know

this man who carved my childhood,

my neighbor,

my kindly soul who always could be found

outside

living a full life

with a beautiful partner, tending their garden, living love.

~

I remember so many summer days, winter storms,

childhood moments where the honor of his presence

helped shape mine and so many other’s lives.

He is the quiet man down the street,

with the cherub smile,

the man whose heart always is in the right place,

where the chuckles that he and his partner (Connie) provide,

gave reality’s grace to lovely children

three beautiful people that today

with family in hand will say good-bye.

~

We all have fond memories,

we love to recall the smiles, the humor, the human nature,

of a good person.

He is the man that one winter day, as I forged waist deep snow,

I stepped into his yard,

he was just finishing his walk,

the banks looked like that of a sculpture.

one step off the bank and I would be at the front door.

As I began, I heard him say,

‘looks pretty clean doesn’t it t

I laughed and said yeah, I’ll just jump right over,

He stopped, stood with his shovel,

hand upon hand upon handle,

a little perspiration mixing with an arctic grin,

‘I bet you won’t’ he replied.

~

I glanced into the eyes of a special man,

who braved my childhood, taught me lessons

that for his children always held true with kindness.

I smiled, walked back to the street, made my way to his

driveway and found the clean, shoveled sidewalk

tapped the doorbell to roust his son out into the wintry day.

~

He beamed, stood with his lance,

hand upon hand upon handle,

a little perspiration mixing with an arctic grin

~

‘It’s always good to see you t

I’ll miss you Don, say hello to everyone!

Ode to a Beautiful Man

I knew a man,

when I first met him,

he scowled at me

because I hadn’t earned his time

his persona behind the bar

demanded a respect I wanted to gain.

I brought him records

I’d just picked up at the Inner Sleeve.

Tradition at the pub,

was to spin a new vinyl if the bartender

that would be, the man,

felt like taking the time.

I usually came in and got a beer,

and held onto my vinyl

never pushing it on him,

just waiting for him to notice.

He passed on a Nash solo, said no to ELO,

and then I brought in ‘After the Gold Rush’ …

~

I knew a man with a sardonic smile

he served me many a beer

at our favorite local mecca

The Scott Street Steak & Pub

he held court with a lot of faces

played a lot of discs on the table.

I felt connected the day he put

Neil on the wheel – smiled, and said

‘that’s ok’

~

I think as time went by,

I would visit Inner Sleeve,

just to bring a disc to Todd,

the man behind the bar,

the man I grew to know,

wise with a friendly smile,

one that would draw me to a fond

comfortable place in Wausau.

~

There’s a town I left behind,

I’ll miss the man I knew,

the man that played Mark Knopfler

one sunny afternoon,

and then looked at the kid at the bar,

and sneered with a beautiful smile,

‘that’s ok’