I found some old poems a few days ago in a folder I haven’t opened in years. Admittedly some of it was pretty cruddy, mostly just the frantic scrawls of a young man enamored with Jack Kerouac. But one poem grabbed my attention in particular and I remembered that it had been published, although now I can’t remember where. It’s a poem about an old man I used to bring soup to as a boy. He had a wonderful house on Lake Ontario and a little puppy and I could fish there off his docks and catch great big perch and rock bass. My grandmother owned a restaurant about a mile away in Henderson Harbor and she and my mother would ask me to deliver some soup for him on occasion. I grew fond of him as he seemed like a lonely dote.

He was a quiet, white haired old man that could reach petulant peaks in an instant and remain unfettered for a time after, a time that I usually retired to the front yard with the puppy to play a while or walk down to the shore into the eerie old boathouse and look around, hoping to find a lost archaic treasure.

I have no clue what happened to him, how long ago he died, or if he moved long before that. But sometime in college I remembered him, remembered his loneliness, remembered his house, and remembered, for right or wrong, a tiny scene that leaked out onto paper.

Old Man Woods

Crazy

Old man

Woody-

Kept

His

Dirty

Magazines

In the same

Cabinet

As his

Whiskey

So

He never

Had to

Go far

For

Pleasure.

 

“That

Gaddam

Vietnam War

Had me

Hooked

On opium

For

Years.

Now

I

Can’t think

For

Nothing.”

 

Anthony N. White is a writer currently living in Rochester, NY.

He can be heckled on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @Ruthieshusband

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