New Dark Poem – The Forever Man

The Forever Man

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I knew a man without a name.

He walked the streets of everywhere.

At dawn, at twilight, and later

his soles unpolished pattered on roads,

in alleys,

under eaves rotten with neglect,

beyond gates silver and gold.

He knew my name

but his, I only guessed.

*

The people in whose shadow

he trailed

looked upon him in dismay,

the children with wonder,

and the world-weary with aching delight.

The lamps, whose lights fluttered in his passing

told not whether he smiled

or whether his face was many

or only one.

*

Everywhere, I saw him.

On ships, walking the prow.

In church, standing silent

as the poor bent a knee beside kings.

Strolling beside farmers’ ploughs.

Waving his pallid fingers

above cribs.

*

Everywhere, I saw him.

‘Neath his hat, beaded by rain,

stirred no worldly gaze.

His strides, measured always

to match his chosen ward.

His shoulders, heavy with a timeless suit

made of shadow,

looked the same to me

whether in sunlight

or gilded by the moon.

*

One day, I came to him.

Was it a fever I had?

Or exhaustion in my bones?

Or had I struck the first of many nails?

I could not remember.

I spoke to him,

at him

through him.

And he told me,

“Today is not your day.

“Nor tomorrow.

“Look for me no longer.

“And find me later than you expect.”

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J Edward Neill

Find more words here.

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