By Larry Bradley
Learn from the man who spends much of his life speaking
To the back of your head knowing what it means to follow
The razor’s edge along a worn strop or random thoughts
As they spring so invisibly from the mind to a mouth
Who shouldered soldiers in two wars and fled fire fields
Undecorated who fathered once but was fatherless forever
And who works his sentiments in deeper into your scalp
Under a sign on the knotty-pine walls whose rubric reads
quot homines, tot sententiae which means he sees
In you his suffering smells of horehound tonics and gels
Pillow heads and powders and a floor full of snippings
Swept neatly every evening into a pile for the field mice
All those roundabout hours only a man who fixes his tie
To clip crabgrass crowding a lady’s grave could believe
With a certain clean devotion and who would never for one
Moment dream of hurting you when your back was turned
Source: Poetry (November 2010)
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