When I was 9 Dale Spencer said
"Let's play ball boys." You replied
And kept me playing until I was 50.
Santa left me a 12 gauge shotgun when
I was 12. Uncle Harold said, "Larry,
Let's go hunting." You responded and
Kept me walking and hunting until
I was 55. "Let's play tennis," John Lux said
And you and I did, for 45 years.
You and I peddled my bikes all over
Town as well as to school and along my
Columbia Daily Tribune delivery route.
We walked to the movies downtown.
We walked across town to girl friends'
Houses. We hiked with the other Scouts
To the south of Boone County many
During all this energetic happiness you never
Stopped. You complained from time to time,
Hiding a diminished future. You answered "Yes"
When "No" was a possibility, perhaps a justifiable
Preference, but I didn't know it.
Now, you're saying, "Please. I'm tired. I can't
Go on as before." You're living a disease today you've
Disguised in the past. I can't be angry with
You. You hoisted me and held me up
Too many times and years for me to rebuke you.
To the contrary, I honor you. I forgive you.