Max Reif

Rookie - 9 Points (1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)

Bobby - Poem by Max Reif

That summer my second wife and I
lived on the state road in rural
North Carolina in the 6-room farmhouse
I got for $100 a month, amid
the tobacco fields, which by the way
have lovely, pink flowers in the spring,

and oh, yes, that spring, too,
the beauty of the white
birds on the juice-green
meadow outside my study
all but made me faint.

Summer was different. Heat rose
from the road's black asphalt
in visible, radiating waves.

Every day around noon,
looking down that road
that parted fields and woods
as far as you could see, we'd spy
a tiny figure, who would slowly grow,
trudging past our house
half an hour later, then slowly
shrink till he disappeared
in the opposite direction.

One day I decided to ask him
where he was walking every day.
'My name is Bobby, ' he replied.
'My daddy's sick. I walk
ten miles there and ten back
every day to give him his medicine.'

After that, we'd wave when Bobby passed.
A couple weeks later one day
breathing very hard when he got
to our place, he collapsed.
Thinking he might die, I drove him
to the Tabor City hospital,
half-carrying him in

to the Emergency Room, then to the room
they admitted him to, remaining there,
holding this man I hardly knew.
'Jesus loves you and I love you! '
I told him over and over again.

Bobby didn't die, it wasn't
his heart after all, they said.
Some kind of indigestion.

Calling back those days
is like remembering
heroes at the dawn of time.
The world was different then.
Or I was young.


Comments about Bobby by Max Reif

  • (4/17/2006 11:27:00 AM)


    Wonderful story, Max, but the ending feels tacked on. Maybe it needs to spend a few more days in the cyclozmotron.

    Or maybe you should tell the story backward, leaving you something to stay at the end.

    1. You see the guy every day.
    2. One day he collapses.
    3. He tells you he was fetching medicine every day.

    That way you close with the bang instead of the addendum.

    Just suggesting - I know what a pain it the ass that is.
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  • (4/17/2006 9:53:00 AM)


    OUTSTANDING! JUST OUTSTANDING! ! A ten. (Report) Reply

  • (4/17/2006 8:53:00 AM)


    brilliant poem my friend..It's always such a great pleasure to read your work...it's always clever and refreshing..Thanks for sharing this piece...
    Always,
    Amberlee
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/17/2006 8:52:00 AM)


    This was a lovely poem...Iiked and specially liked the simplicity injected. The central idea was really good. And yes, I choose the first option, it's not your youth, but that the world was young and less full of sins and crookedness. Keep it up, best love

    N.D.
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/17/2006 8:32:00 AM)


    True everyday modest heroism. It's good to be actively kind, because people mostly wish you well but step aside whenever something's wrong. A nice poem. Warmly, Julia (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 17, 2006

Poem Edited: Monday, April 17, 2006


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