The Man in the Park



Below is "The Man in the Park” from “As a Pierian Spring,” a book I published a while back. Written for self-inspection, I suppose. Hope it’s to your liking!



Are people polite to you? They asked
The old homeless man in the park
Most are kind, he replied with a rasp
As he quieted his stray dog’s bark.


Bearded, bedraggled, a coat of holes
He added, being civil is from the heart
And not from the pocket as some suppose
His smiling eyes gave them a start.


I even get hugs some of the time
From strangers who’ll stop and care
With maybe a dollar or maybe a dime
But hugs are worth mor’n a millionaire.


Life is not perfect for none of us
It don’t cost one penny to be nice
There’s more ways for us to be good
Than to be bad–attitude is the price.


Some see me and simply judge me
He said in his slow uneducated drawl
What’s important is good their heart sees
Through the thick and thin of it all.


His wisdom drew some passers-by near
Others walked on paying him no mind
If we don’t exercise the goodness dear
God gave us, we’re likely to be unkind.


The old man answered their questions
In a profound and an unexpected way
They left him with a grateful concession
To greet a new friend somewhere today.


~By Larry Troxel~