A hunchbacked man, at least a hundred years old
Hobbles by as I wait for the train,
I brace for the inevitable sharp pain,
When his grotesque odor will soon take hold,
But, to my surprise, instead, the proud bold
Smell of a rich cologne reaches my brain
And I am left feeling dumb to complain
About something that never did unfold.

Now, he passes me almost every day;
I get the feeling he’s more rock than man,
A symbol of how time’s long river can
Sculpt the hardest earth on its endless way.

The train arrives and I am left to think:
When I’m that old, shall I be rock or stink?

 

 -Evan Mantyk

Bio: Evan Mantyk is a newspaper editor, writer, and poet living in Harrison, New York. He is president of the Society of Classical Poets.

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