the old man who waves

the man who waves poem by steven james humphreys

when I drive west

usually to Home Depot

there’s this old man

he has grey hair

and a grey mustache

just like I do

he sits on a white plastic

chair under a tree

in front of a garage

wearing a hat

I don’t know why

I notice him

but he waves

he always waves

not because I know him

I don’t know why he waves

he could be taken care of by his middle aged kids or something like that

or maybe he doesn’t have anything better to do

I guess he could just be a lonely guy

I don’t have any way of knowing

he could have something wrong with him

like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s possibly some form of dementia

I mean I hope he doesn’t

maybe the guy is just friendly

I have no way of knowing

but most of the time just in the nick of time

I notice the movement in the

corner of my eye as I drive by and

I wave back

hey why not it doesn’t cost me anything to be

friendly to a complete stranger

after all I am safe in my pickup truck

sometimes I don’t see him

until I pass him by

and then it’s too late to wave

on my way back from Home Depot today

I was looking for him

but he must have gotten up

and taken a bathroom break

or maybe ate some lunch

who knows?

but I do know someday he

won’t be there anymore

and I won’t be driving

by and we will no longer

be waving at each other.


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