See Not in Haste

I met a man upon my way,
A fellow in grey,
Who laid aside his scythe to say,
“Well met we two today.”

Loath was I to now abide,
Haste a turning tide,
So nodded I and kept my stride,
Silent by his side.

“‘Tis pleasant here upon this day,”
Hoped he to sway,
Yet none I’d have of his delay,
Short of time to stay.

With thickening of my ear’s own hide
Straight ahead I plied
Until about, as though tight tied,
Fast my arm was pried.

“Does sun not on this river play,
Siren’s warm allay,
To turn you from your onward fray,
Bank’s soft breast to lay?”

How should this man be fair denied
Such coercion tried,
And leave me free of need to chide
Loss of trade I pride?

In haste I snatched my arm away,
Much to his dismay,
Trust not to share same stage someday,
We players in life’s play.

Fell he behind ‘til loudly cried,
“Nowhere will you hide,”
Though slowed not I until he’d sighed,
“For here it is you died.”

At last I saw the price to pay
For my past of clay,
Spent full a life just making hay
When all about was gay.


Clive S Johnson

Poet for August