Every year, he returns, the old man,
Just when you've forgotten he exists,
He's in the corner of your eye,
Houdini in grey cape,
Somber, regal, and forbidding.
He appears and we hold our breath,
Whisper to the children,
"Come and see."
A day or two he lingers by the water,
Head down, arms behind his back,
Lost in thought or memory
Of glory in the sun.
Sometimes, his long neck leads
As if he's moving toward the finale
And wherever it is he goes
When he lifts his cape and disappears.
Karen Nowviskie, West Virginia, USA