BUD

April 27, 2010

He was just, as they sayIn that part of the world,An itty bitty guy--no more than five four if that.

He was just, as they say

In that part of the world,

An itty bitty guy--no more than five four if that.

It was a small tavern.

One of the many on Congress street

Just opposite The UNIVERSAL Trading Company.

Distinguished only they said

By the damn good draft Guinness.

He sat next to me, ordered

the special--2 cans of Bud, four dollars.

I was born and raised  right here in Savannah,

he told the pretty bartendress.  But I live in

Orlando now. 

He was perhaps 50 but looked much older, skin weathered

by sun and beer and his natural sensitivity to both.

And toothless, too.

She hardly noticed him despite his beseeching smile.

You know he said to me

I was born and raised right here in Savannah.  Live

In Florida now.

Orlando.

I could feel what I sensed to be his loneliness.

As he said Orlando his face fell and collapsed

and the weathered good natured good old boy smile evaporated.

Where you from, he asked

Boston he repeated.  That’s way

up there.

And then seeing that I was too preoccupied with other things to talk

He fell silent.

He grew sadder , his gaze flat and down.

I thought he might cry.

I fantasized that for an instant

He saw

The emptiness and loneliness of his life.

As though a veil had lifted,

 giving  him a view of his eternity.

A rush of sadness caught me

And I had an impulse to hold and soothe him,

As though he were just a small boy.

About the only joy that came was when,

after caressing it,

he opened the 2nd Bud and took a long draft of it.

I thought,

How close we all come to this each in our way.

Or is it just some of us……

 

[Editor's note: Psychiatric Times does not solict poetry submissions beyond those in our regularly-running column, Poetry of the Times, by Richard Berlin, MD. However, we felt that Dr Robbin's poem was of exceptional merit, and warranted an exception to our usual policy.  Dr Robbins recently wrote on domestic violence for Psychiatric Times: his article can be viewed here.]