Sunday, November 11, 2012

"A Classmate Went Missing" - Poet Bob Dahl

From my dear friend, the Rev. Dr. Robert Dahl, a fine writer and delightful poet.

A Classmate Went Missing

A classmate went missing from his class
reunion only to be discovered later dead.

A response from a classmate reflecting on
the dead who he hadn’t seen in let’s say around

fifty years, in part, “A handful of us always seemed to be
competing. Good practice for the next 40 years.

The only competition left is who will outlive the other…..
and of course, who has the

brightest and best looking grandchildren……….need I
say more.”  (He must have forgotten in his

old age that that was a question requiring a question mark
and there were way too many ellipses.) —- hmmmm,

probably written jokingly, but hmmmm…so…does shallower than a
kiddy pool in a drought  come to mind,

and after fifty years no less?  And when the last person living
reflects on his situation and what he has won

what will he  have?  Oh, yeah, loneliness.
Good Lord.

Fifty years and still counting… still competing.
“Hey, guess what?  I beat so and so and so

and so and so and so and so and old
whatshisface… and ….”

So what?

And if that classmate is the only one left standing
and cries, “Hey, I won!” into the void

will there be the sound of victory or just the sound of silence
from back in the 60’s? Oh, yeah, the most

beautiful  and brightest grandkids:  “Bye, bye
Grandpa,” as they go off to their futures without

much as a thought of him as he sits by himself
surrounded by all of his trophies.

Need he say more into the void (leaving only the question mark
he forgot the first time around),

about that shallow-as-a-kiddy-pool comment
on the death an old high school

classmate? Oh, yeah, in all fairness, he said it brought a tear
to his eye, too.

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