Friday, October 8, 2010

The Man in the Yard

by Howard Nelson



My father told me once
that when he was about twenty
he had a new girlfriend, and once
they stopped by the house on the way
to somewhere, just a quick stop
to pick something up,
and my grandfather, who wasn't well—
it turned out he had TB and would die
at fifty-two—was sitting in a chair
in the small back yard, my father
knew he was out there, and it crossed
his mind that he should take his girlfriend
out back to meet him, but he
didn't, whether for embarrassment
at the sick, fading man
or just because he was in a hurry
to be off on his date, he didn't
say, but he told the little,
uneventful story anyway, and said
that he had always regretted
not doing that simple, courteous
thing, the sick man sitting in
the sun in the back yard would
have enjoyed meeting her, but
instead he sat out there alone
as they came and left, young
lovers going on a date. He
always regretted it, he said.

1 comment:

  1. This is so poignant a piece. I was a much older woman by the time I got over myself and my dad's morbid obesity. I regret that to this day because my feelings about his physical being got in the way of a great relationship--he truly was a wonderful man who adored great food to his dying day.

    ReplyDelete

Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)