David McLansky

(5/24/1944 / New York City)

Christmas, Hartland, Maine 1996


My Christmas walk I’ll take
To Mr. Berry’s by the lake
To see him sitting there
In his gray cane rocking chair
To see him by his oil drum stove
In his cabin by the cove
To hear his hardy, “Well. Hello there.”
See him brush back wisps of hair.

Though the air is crisp and cold
And he is 83 years old
Though there’s ice upon the lake
And though his age-ed hands will shake
Though the fir trees droop with snow
And his shaky steps are slow
Though there’s grayness in the sky
And his memories cloud his eyes.

My Christmas walk I’ll take
To Mr. Berry’s by the lake
For there’s a gladness in his greeting
And a welcome in the meeting
And an empty extra chair
For a visitor to share
To rest in silence or to talk
After the journey of a walk.

He kept his vigil by the lake
And watched the water daily break
Upon the rocks and tree lined shore
From the screen of his porch door.

In the cold
My eyes do tear
And I fear
As I draw near,
There’s no smoke from out his camp
And his porch looks dark and damp.
I see a lock upon his door.
Mr. Berry is no more.

Submitted: Friday, July 12, 2013
Edited: Friday, July 12, 2013

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