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Last updated: April 06. 2013 4:47PM - 534 Views
By ED ACKERMAN



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Despite the winter-like mornings the past several days, the sunny, warmer weather Friday afternoon got me to thinking about a couple of encounters with two young boys in the spring of 2007 that prompted me to pen a poem for my weekly column.


I called it “A jolly hello” and if you don’t mind, I’d like to repeat it today.


It goes like this:


I stepped from my porch


and what did I see?


A handsome young boy


just staring at me.


He leaned on my fence


‘bout 50 feet away,


a right pleasant sight


on this lovely spring day.


Except for one thing


which struck me as sad:


there was sorrow and gloom


on the face of this lad.


To school he was bound


while to work was I,


but I couldn’t yet leave


for I sensed this guy


needed something from me


before we’d both go


and I knew what it was:


a jolly “Hello!”


So “Hi ya!” I shouted


on instinct, I guess,


while our eyes made contact


a good minute, no less.


But he just kept on staring


almost out into space,


not a bit of expression


on his handsome, young face.


So I shouted again


in a most friendly way:


“Good morning, young man!”


And what did he say?


Not a word, once again,


and I started to wonder


what sort of spell


this kid might be under.


Perhaps he’s quite shy


and he just doesn’t know


that yes, he’s the object


of my jolly “Hello!”


That’s what I reasoned


feeling rather perplexed


at what heavy burden


had this child so vexed.


If I stopped to ask him


I’d be late for work.


Still, I wanted to explain


I’m not really a jerk.


“I’m just friendly, that’s me,


I was raised this way,


to be pleasant and happy,”


I wanted to say.


Then I burst into laughter


not even sure why


at the awkward moment


between me and this guy.


No one taught him to speak


when he’s spoken to.


And I wondered what the world


was now coming to.


Which got me feeling down,


brought my own spirits low.


Was this really the result


of one jolly “Hello”?


As he waited for the bus


to cart him to school,


I pondered what he thought


of this loud, old fool.


Will he tell all his friends


to watch out for that clown


who’ll try to reverse


your off-to-school frown?


Several days went by


and what did I see?


Yet another young lad.


Was he looking at me?


Yes, he was, I was sure


but I kept my mouth shut.


Don’t want this kid thinkin’


I’m some kinda nut.


But this one was different,


this boy on his bike.


He called out to me!


It was something like:


“Hi, mister, isn’t this


a really great day?


Can’t you just tell


that spring’s on the way?”


I smiled. Then I laughed


at what’d just taken place,


what this little kid did


with that smile on his face.


He made everything right


and he didn’t even know


how badly I needed


his jolly “Hello!”


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