by Robert C. Frost

I came to know
a man of sorrow -
an old man
in an old town
lived in
long ago.

He knows what he knows
(which isn't much, he'll say),
and he got to thinking
how his town changed him,
for he knew sadness there
and too, some joy.
And there were times
he made music
and fireworks
and babies
and smiles
of youth and hope
there too.

It's there he became lost
for a time -
adrift inside his town,
inside himself,
but he saw great changes
and he learned about people
and a bit of himself too;
and he laughed
and he cried
and he offered up
righteous prayers . . .
and he pretended
the brutal goodbye
was anything but.

He punishes himself now
with tombstones
and graveyards,
with second guesses
and clenched fists,
with noble tears
of profound regret.
He knows this town
has surely touched him,
but wonders . . .
Did he touch it?

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