Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Epiphany On A Sunny Summer Afternnoon

Epiphany on a Sunny Summer Afternoon
Jack Henry Markowitz

The hand painted sign read
Farm Fresh Ripe Tomatoes
Just ahead
Less than one mile
Sufficient warning
For any motorist on the hunt
For farm fresh fruit and vegetables
Visa and MasterCard gladly accepted

Armed with sufficient warning
I pulled the car into the parking lot
An easy walk to the entrance of the tent
That housed the bounty of all
That the road side farm stand had to offer

I set off in search of farm fresh blueberries
And perhaps some ears of sweet corn
When I passed
An older man
Which is to say
A man much older than I

He was seated
On a white wicker chair
His seersucker suit and straw hat
Only partially shaded from the sun
Playing with his little grand child
And her little dog Scotty
While mother shopped
For farm fresh ripe tomatoes
For only the very best would do
For her precious family

As I passed from sunlight into shade
I smiled and said hello
To the smiling man with the sparkling eyes
Who tipped his hat to show
That he had the softest of snow white hair
Looking to me like a Semitic version
Of an older Robert Frost
He smiled back and waved
The back of his hand
Dappled with liver spots
Medals of Honor
For a lifetime well lived

And then I thought
What if?
What if all had not gone
According to plan?
What if he’d been assassinated
Somewhere along the way
By the army of enemies
That he’d no doubt made
While clawing his way to the top
Of his erstwhile profession?

Watch your back
Cover your behind
Never falter
Never stumble
And above all else
Never make a mistake
Or else you will pay

Pay with your heart
And your soul
With the loss of your job
Of position
Of income
Of status
Of pension
Of family
Of Home

Pay with the loss of a softer
And more dignified place in old age
In post modern industrial society
When you are no longer able
To be either modern
Or especially social
Taken aback
I again looked to see
If the older man
Was still there
Seated in his white wicker chair
Playing with his golden haired grand child
And her little dog Scotty
While mother shopped for farm fresh ripe tomatoes
For only the very best would do for her family

He stared back at me
Curious, puzzled
Returning my unblinking gaze
Was I all right
He may have been thinking
Would I be okay?
Or would I falter and stumble
And make a mistake
Along the way?

Don’t worry he seemed to say
As you can see
Here we blessed be
You and me and our little golden haired girl
And her little dog Scotty
While mother shops for farm fresh ripe tomatoes
At a roadside farm stand
Sometime in the future
Half way between
Yesterday and tomorrow.


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