A jolly hello


First Posted: 4/5/2013

Despite the winter-like mornings the past several days, the sunny, warmer weather Friday afternoon got me to thinking about a couple of encounters with two young boys in the spring of 2007 that prompted me to pen a poem for my weekly column.

I called it “A jolly hello” and if you don’t mind, I’d like to repeat it today.

It goes like this:

I stepped from my porch

and what did I see?

A handsome young boy

just staring at me.

He leaned on my fence

‘bout 50 feet away,

a right pleasant sight

on this lovely spring day.

Except for one thing

which struck me as sad:

there was sorrow and gloom

on the face of this lad.

To school he was bound

while to work was I,

but I couldn’t yet leave

for I sensed this guy

needed something from me

before we’d both go

and I knew what it was:

a jolly “Hello!”

So “Hi ya!” I shouted

on instinct, I guess,

while our eyes made contact

a good minute, no less.

But he just kept on staring

almost out into space,

not a bit of expression

on his handsome, young face.

So I shouted again

in a most friendly way:

“Good morning, young man!”

And what did he say?

Not a word, once again,

and I started to wonder

what sort of spell

this kid might be under.

Perhaps he’s quite shy

and he just doesn’t know

that yes, he’s the object

of my jolly “Hello!”

That’s what I reasoned

feeling rather perplexed

at what heavy burden

had this child so vexed.

If I stopped to ask him

I’d be late for work.

Still, I wanted to explain

I’m not really a jerk.

“I’m just friendly, that’s me,

I was raised this way,

to be pleasant and happy,”

I wanted to say.

Then I burst into laughter

not even sure why

at the awkward moment

between me and this guy.

No one taught him to speak

when he’s spoken to.

And I wondered what the world

was now coming to.

Which got me feeling down,

brought my own spirits low.

Was this really the result

of one jolly “Hello”?

As he waited for the bus

to cart him to school,

I pondered what he thought

of this loud, old fool.

Will he tell all his friends

to watch out for that clown

who’ll try to reverse

your off-to-school frown?

Several days went by

and what did I see?

Yet another young lad.

Was he looking at me?

Yes, he was, I was sure

but I kept my mouth shut.

Don’t want this kid thinkin’

I’m some kinda nut.

But this one was different,

this boy on his bike.

He called out to me!

It was something like:

“Hi, mister, isn’t this

a really great day?

Can’t you just tell

that spring’s on the way?”

I smiled. Then I laughed

at what’d just taken place,

what this little kid did

with that smile on his face.

He made everything right

and he didn’t even know

how badly I needed

his jolly “Hello!”

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