Mean old man

Mean old man says Dummy, dummy
You let that boy beat you
weren’t first in your class.

Mean old man
takes them all to the toy store
tells them pick out what you want
and they come back excited
and play with their new toys
while you lie under the bed
and blow dust motes.

Mean old man
tells you you’re stupid
won’t amount to anything
your father’s kid
and we all know what he thinks
about your father.

Mean old man
says What do you say to that?
while his camcorder is in your face
and you reply gently
but that’s all you remember
of that vacation.
That mean old man.

Mean old man
always wishing for another
who said he would come
but never came.

Mean old man
who’s holding your hand now?
Mean old man lies dying
and above him
the face of dummy, dummy.

Mean old man
finally gets the relief of morphine.
The nurse says  I was only an hour late
She can’t count; the hours passed
as she ignored the mean old man
who could no longer speak.

Mean old man
has his face tenderly shaved
his clothes buttoned up neatly
his shirt collar straightened
his mean old face caught in death
his bony old body cold and rigid.

She can’t read the words of the mean old man
so she puts the books in a bag
and gives them to another
and the mean old man has a voice
he hasn’t had for years.
It’s dark outside.
Another thing [ ] was here.
Loved [ ] very much.

Mean old man
Never said a word.


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