Nebraska Center for Writers

DECLINE
by Chad Weidner

"Old Man!" I cried
"What is the cause of your pain?
Hunger, disease, despair?"
All of the above.
He is a hunk of bark, an oily rag,
a bone to bury in the back yard.

Jerry has been here since Ella was young,
a mechanic at the used car lot.
He never went to Mass on Sundays
Never had no use for that.
His deepest most profound wish?
A brand new baseball hat.

He slips away like September sun,
fading, forgotten by everyone.

Reprinted with permission
Copyright © 2001
by Chad Weidner


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