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By Don Langford
Patching a crack in the walkway,
filling a small hole in his house
with cement, returning a cup of soil
to a hole left in the ground by squirrels,
the old man, my landlord, works
The world’s calamities can wait;
he harvests the tomatoes that he planted
from seed, waters the impatiens that grow
in fullest bright color by his porch,
turns the earth and worms in his garbage can of rich
He will disappear some days with his fishing pole
and box of floaters and sinkers, and a lunchbox;
he will disappear with the squirrel cage that he uses
to relocate squirrels to other wooded places,
perpetually moving each generation that moves into our
He will disappear
and the world that never knew he was here
will be smaller because of his disappearance.
He will leave no big mark that he was here;
he tends to his lawn, removing the weeds
each spring and fall,
the humblest of souls
taking the littlest portions from this world
and returning them back to the earth,
working deliberately and slowly,
keeping his little part of the world from falling apart.
© Copyright 2004, Don Langford, All Rights Reserved.
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Document last modified on: 09/28/2004