Joe DeGoursey

Cheers To Chaucer - Poem by Joe DeGoursey

A soft pallid blanket covered the trees,
Results of the season’s long winter freeze.
Down a side street went a small group, in Maine,
They all got off from a ride on the train,
And a cold wind kissed the cheeks of the crowd,
Who moved toward the shelter of a proud,
Man who was now lying sick in his bed,
Causing friends to think he might soon be dead.
Into the house moved the worry full crowd,
Led by a man who stopped and said aloud,
“We all know why we’re gathered here today,
To help a man who’s being worn away.
Though friends we are not we’re here for the same.
To help our mutual friend is our aim.
Let us see who this man has done more for,
And we’ll see who gives the best thanks before,
I choose who he is more important to,
And who that may be we’ll go out for a brew.
Let us set aside our differences and,
Be supportive for our friend’s final stand,
Against this illness that weakens him so,
Into the house to aid our friend we go.”
Over the threshold, down the stairs they went,
And as they were making that deep descent,
They heard a long groan from a nearby room,
A feeling of sickness began to loom.
One by one they entered to see their friend,
Guessing how in their own way they might mend,
The illness this man might soon succumb to,
But how to do so they hadn’t a clue.
They each took turns going up to his side,
But who to go first they couldn’t decide.
With a graceful wave of her clothes she came,
She thought she’d go first, Mrs. Dives was her name.
As she stepped forward her rings caught the light,
She bore herself with valor like a knight.
Of the finest fabric were her clothes made,
On every garment purple was displayed.
She bent down and put her face near his head,
And as she did so this is what she said.
“Oh my dear friend Harvey what can I say?
All those times we’ve had seem so far away.
I don’t know how I can ever thank you,
For all of the things that you used to do.
You believed in me when no one else would,
You were always there and you understood,
That I needed help, a small caring boost,
To help me build the idea I produced,
That later led me to obtaining wealth,
Which I’d gladly give to aid your poor health.
But alas there’s nothing much I can do,
Except sit by your side as you pass through,
Into the void we all meet at the end,
And so I say farewell to you my friend.”
She kissed his forehead, stepped back with a sigh,
And as she did so she started to cry.
Next went a man who was older in years,
And already his face was wet from tears.
He shuffled up in his raggedy clothes,
Covered in dirt from his head to his toes.
He laid a hand down upon Harvey’s chest,
The hairs on his head in a tattered nest.
“I wish I could have repaid you for what,
You did to help me, just an old poor mutt.
We went through high school and then departed,
But after that I couldn’t get started,
On building a lifestyle to call my own,
When help was given through a tiny loan.
Because of you I am still here today,
And on that final note I have to say,
Thank you for being a helper and friend,
For I know that soon we shall meet again.”
Then went a middle aged man, looking sad,
With a young boy next to him, just a lad.
The little boy was dressed just like his dad,
With dress pants, tie, and a shirt that was plaid.
The father’s hair was combed back looking slick,
While the son’s hair was more messy and thick.
Both of them went up together as one,
The father went first, and then went the son.
“Mr. Harvey what a great friend you’ve been,
The fact that you’re sick makes me burn within.
Thanks to you I am a middle class man,
And it’s all because of that grand old plan,
That you used to get me into college,
Which later helped me to gain the knowledge,
Of being able to run my own life,
Which led me to my son and gorgeous wife.
Now I’ll say goodbye as you take your leave,
Knowing you’re leaving will make us all grieve.”
Then came some words of thanks from the child,
With tears in his eyes the father smiled.
Once they were done the both of them walked back,
To join the others in the mourning pack.
Up next went a woman with crimson hair,
Who didn’t seem to be taking much care,
For she had with her a bottle of wine,
But then “My addiction’s in a decline, ”
Is what she said as she walked up to him,
“Without your kind help my chances looked grim,
Of ever ridding myself of this curse,
It might have taken a turn for the worst.
But you helped me out by lending a hand,
For without a drink I couldn’t withstand,
The life I led that made me feel unwound,
But all thanks to you I’m turning around.
Because of your help I’m improving fast,
Thanks again, you will be missed once you’ve passed.”
Lastly went the man who had spoken out,
And above all else there wasn’t a doubt,
That this man was a man who was not one to shirk,
The duties that called to him from his work.
He was a workaholic, still all dressed,
Up in his suit with a tie and a vest.
A feeling he felt started to bother,
Him as he slowly walked towards his father.
“You’ve been more to me, a father, a friend.
Without you here it will seem like the end.
Thank you father for all that you have done,
I hope that to you I was a good son.
I tried my very best to make you proud,
But now upon you descends a death shroud.
Thanks for being the best father you could,
I say goodbye now but it’s not for good.”
They all left the house now wondering whose,
Thanks were the best, and who the man might choose.
He stopped before the man and his young boy,
“What you spoke of in there gives me much joy.
To know that my father helped you both out,
He was important to you, I’ve no doubt.
If you would, I’d bring you out for a drink,
I’ll buy you food while we sit back and think,
About the life of a man who’s not here,
Of your exploits with him I’d love to hear.”
A soft pallid blanket covered the trees,
Results of the season’s long winter freeze.
And a cold wind kissed the cheeks of the crowd,
Who moved away from the shelter of a proud,
Man who was now lying sick in his bed,
Causing friends to think he might soon be dead.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 7, 2011

Poem Edited: Saturday, October 8, 2011

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