Thursday, June 12, 2003

Soul of an Old Poet

I met an Old Poet at the cemetery gates one day when I was just a boy. We walked and talked and I asked him if he was here to visit someone and he says to me, he says, "Son, I'm here to lay my old bones next to my wife who died here thirty years ago today." And he goes on and tells me, "My soul's heavy and I'm tired a caryin" it 'round this here old world. Good soul though, served me well and kept me out of some things and gotten me into others and it's a shame to just give it up so..."

I say to him, "I'll buy that old soul from you, so you'll know it'll be in a good place." And I offered him a bottle of wine I'd brought with me to feed to my grandpa's ghost. The Old Poet, he drank the whole thing down in one gulp and then corked the bottle and handed it to me and then lay down right there on his old woman's grave and died.

I've still got the bottle. It's at home on my windowsill, still corked. One day I'll take that bottle down and pop the cork and listen to the Old Poet's soul, swinging from the trees and laughing at the Moon.

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