LARRY’S SECRET

Published October 11, 2017 by Nan Mykel

The slight, unassuming fellow

looked somehow familiar when

he first visited our poetry group.

He introduced himself as Larry,

and then it clicked. “Larry Jageman!”

I blurted. “Nan Mykel!” he replied.

In group he was confronted over and

over for his peculiar verse–all hosannas–

yet took it  on the chin, calmly. Larry’s

attendance at group notwithstandng

was faithful, dogged,  and devoted.

He puzzled those of us who could not fathom

the persistent  style of his writing.

Were I confronted so often

and directly, I would have deserted

the group, my confidence crumbling.

I took his tears for sentimentality,

his occasional dark glasses a puzzle.

Was it his last group session that he

said next time he would share a situation

he was in.  He always spoke softly, but

this time I was fortunately sitting next

to him and heard him say that he was

afraid of his wife leaving him and that

she was afraid of him leaving her.

His  appreciation of friends, neighbors

and family, penned for more than a year,

seemed juvenile and rote to me, blinded

by a misunderstanding of his need.

He did take away something from the group,

and kept coming back until the end.

He was buried today, and I was there.

 

AFTERTHOUGHT

Upon remembering and reflecting, the image that stays with me is of Larry and Mary rejoicing in life’s grand square dance, and a reminder that there is a higher value than  rules. It is called love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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