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Ashlar Home > Poems > Neil Neddermeyer > Perhaps He's dead

Perhaps He's dead

By Neil Neddermeyer

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.
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