An old man on a park bench,
well-dressed in a brown, tweed suit,
was thinking about a lifetime ago
to a violin playing while Rome burned to soot.
He’s not much of a seer,
but I can tell you this:
“He opposes all believers
with a wicked and serpentine hiss.”
His lack of conviction and gratitude,
shows he’s not commonplace.
He maintains a well-informed aptitude
for intergalactic space.
Upping the ante on physics
is on his to-do list.
Over-wintering in Antarctica twelve times
is not something he would have missed.
His hobbies include lecturing
on cruise ships around the Black Sea,
or conveying the importance of
Ataturk to me.
is a conversation we once held.
Strictly for the challenge of it,
I took his course and never failed.
We’ve played the guitar at a gathering
and sang “In the Early Morning Rain.”
Knowing him was by no means easy,
but was certainly a gain.
After losing touch years ago,
I decided to make a call.
Straight to the point as usual,
it didn’t go as planned at all.
Baffled at all his rudeness,
I didn’t know just what to say.
I dropped the phone beside my hip
and gently began to play.
He quietly sat and listened
as I plucked those copper-bronze notes.
At the end of a dangling receiver,
I spoke the words I wrote:
“Here’s to you,
without further ado—
a fine-strummed tune
for Ichabod Leaver.”