The Golden Man

March 15, 2012
By Anonymous

The golden man pedals
on a broken bicycle chain,
metal gnashing concrete,
but doesn’t seem to care.

Bent over in the flooded sunlight,
his shirt clings to his back,
drenched in warm, sticky sweat.
and he presses on.

There is dirt under his nails,
gritty dust coating his palms,
his callous-laden hands labor from dawn till dusk
planting, weeding, watering, waiting, watching.

He stops by every now and then,
carrying a crinkly plastic bag of vegetables,
fertilizing the lawn or fixing that same warped door frame…

Sitting in the corner of the living room,
keeping to himself,
reading a thick book-
that I never bothered to ask the name of.

I step onto the porch,
peeking around the railing to catch a glimpse of the golden man,
but I’m blinded by the amber light trailing behind him.

I close my eyes, inhale, tasting the humid air
and open them to find he’s gone, vanished-
the sky a pale pale blue and the faint sound of the wind whistling through the streets.

The author's comments:
Recently, my aunt's father died from cancer. I was never very close to him, but he was always making small repairs around the house. It is hard to imagine that he won't be there this summer planting his garden or fertilizing our lawn...his memory is like a dream and I will continue to regard it as such until I am forced to face reality.

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