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The Poetry Man

by Greg Grant

The Poetry Man doesn't know me, though I'm his grandson.
His hearing aid buzzes when I talk to him,
Speaking loudly and slowly.
He putters around the house most days now
Since the family had the local cops take his license-
The villagers said he was a menace,
Running cars off the road like Mr. Magoo.

But every month at the Pioneer Class potluck,
Someone shouts, "Arthur, how about a poem?"
He rises slowly, leaning on his cane.
He declaims, teacher-voiced, as he has every month for 50 years,
Something inspirational,
Morally uplifting,
Rhyming,
That he memorized in his youth
And now holds onto like a towline.

The Pioneer Class sits rapt,
The remainder of a dwindling generation
That knows the value of good words well-spoken.

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