Monday, February 20, 2012

XX: Old Jack

Old Jack was a cross-eyed and crooked-legged
hook-nosed gent who daily begged
for his bread while holding a flask of gin
which he often poured into his toothless grin.

The polished and proper passers-by
never lowered to him a caring eye
for their nostrils gave them sufficient vision
that the old chap was worthy of their derision.

Until a little gold-haired girl,
a dainty thing in lace and pearl,
came skipping by one Sunday in June
right past Jack who was whistling a tune.

Releasing the hand of her mother dear,
she ran back to him without a fear.
She had a nickel she had thought to bring
for the offering basket at Christ the King.

She placed the coin upon Jack's knee,
and smiled at him quite cheerfully.
"I like your whistling," said she to the man,
then back to her mother's side she ran.

As on they walked, the girl smiled back again
and Old Jack beamed with his toothless grin.

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