Have Yourself…




He sings, thinks it might be nearly the last

time for that old song, walks the quiet beach

that usually means poor weather, people

working, kids in the care of growing up.

Sometimes when he used to walk in the city

he would find small change, once

a few twenties. Then he made a friend

who showed him cornices and peaks.

Hard habit to make – look up, stand straight.


He remembers a few bars he sings and sings and sings

and this singing helps him through a gray

mood, helps him through an environment

skinny with peaks and change

as if the singing were a hand

helping a child across a street,

reminding him to look both ways.


Other times, well, hard to say those words today.

Ecstatic, expressive, inner, utterly so.


So yesterday he clamped himself under noise

canceling headphones, tried a new singer

doing an old tune, mowed the lawn, heeled in

an Azalea that was utterly magnificent in dish

and bloom. Too bad he neglected it.

Now it’s all swan song, maybe torch,

poor brittle burnt leafed thing.

With hope in the green remaining

he unpotted, dug it in.


But this morning’s beachside walking

is not digging in or looking up or down

or trying to nourish a last pulse into flourish.

It’s just a man who heard a song in his yard

yesterday afternoon singing as he walks along.




- Henry Rappaport