— Nick Butterfield
He said, I’m grateful for the kindness of a stranger
who’s quick action cleared my airway from a gristled
piece of meat when nothing else had worked.
Now, 100 years old, he said, I am not always happy,
It’s about 50/50 now. I am happy when I can get it out,
what’s inside of me. Memories that lay heavy, in need a
He said when I was a kid, I listened to Franklin Roosevelt
on our banister after dinner. He said, he had no fear of war
and was always a bit larger then life.
Listening to someone now is like listening to Jazz, or a
foreign language, or a ‘Sunday in Purgatory.’
What saves my life isn’t my poems, its the kindness of strangers
who know how to listen.