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Ashlar Home > Poems > Neil Neddermeyer

The Poetic Works of Neil Neddermeyer

Perhaps He's dead

I was playing with the Shriner's band, In a small town, hot parade.
We had stopped to drink a thank you, for the tunes that we had played.

A hand was placed upon my back by a women with a crutch.
As I turned I saw a pretty face, and a smile came with that touch.

She told about a tear that came, when she saw the Shriner's band
and how she remembered one Shriner, who had helped her once to stand.

I was in the Shriner's Hospital, I was frightened - I was low
When an old man in a silly red hat, showed that he loved me so.

He visited me every Sunday, for possibly two years.
He shared my pain and laughter, my joys, my thoughts, my tears.

He must be in his nineties now... Well no, perhaps he's dead.
But he came to my wedding to watch me stand, when I was wed.

I wanted to keep in contact with him for all my life
but I'm too busy being a mother, and too busy being a wife.

I just wanted to stop and thank you, for the things that he had done
to make my life more meaningful, to give my life some fun.

I watched her hobble off as I stepped from the band.
I saw her husband and her kids, and the crutch in her right hand.

I felt guilty for taking credit for the Shriner who was strong but mild.
He knew no man stands straighter then when he stoops to help a child.

I thought, some forty years from now, when a Shriner takes a bow,
will he be thanked for something, that I am doing now?

Will they say that I was noble, that my silly hat was red?
Will they say He's in his nineties now, well no, perhaps he's dead.

Spring Cleaning

Shcoset it's not the first time that she tried,
But this time she's going to do it it's been six months since he died.
She can smell her husband's after shave, he'd always used Old Spice
She remembers how he loved her so, and made their life so nice.
Is this what life is all about? If it is, it feels like hell
To search my husband's closet and decide if he'd done well.
If he hadn't been a Mason we'd have had a few more bucks
He would nothave bought this Shrine fez he would not have owned this tux.

I'll give his ties to our son-in-law, the suits to the corner Goodwill.
It's hard for me to remember he's gone it seems like he's with me still.
If he hadn't been a Mason would our time have been less grand?
Would I still have given my life to him when he asked me for my hand?

Here's his Masonic pocket watch every hour it would chime
When he was with his brothers, he was always home on time.
And here's his Scottish Rite ring, and here's his York Rite pin
Oh how I miss his laughter, oh how I miss his grin.

And to me a list of promises an odd thing for him to save
I think I'll ask about it, the next time I visit his grave.
He had always kept his word to me he would never cheat or lie
I thought he'd live forever, I thought he'd never die.

And here's his coded ritual with its secrets locked inside
And here's his clean white apron! We couldn't find it when he died.
And here's his dad's Masonic pin I'll keep it just in case,
So when our son is older, he might take his father's place.

I remember at the funeral his brothers held me snug -
Where are all those Masons now I could use just one more hug?
Did the fact he was a Mason make him a better man?
Did Masonic obligations make him follow some life's plan?

She was doing her spring cleaning, just like she always had,
But this year is for remembering, this year is more than sad.
Did it really make him better? It is hard to understand,
But he had become a Mason and he was a better man.
You just know she'll keep a few things his apron, that list, and his ring
And you know that she'll remember him, while cleaning every spring.
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