Simple Man by Andrew Scott

The Nine Gates by Andrew Scott

Simple Man by Andrew Scott

Part I – Simple Times

I sit out here on my frayed, wooden deck.
A morning coffee for this seventy – seven,
at times, tired old man.

I look around this rusted, beaten road
and take in the rushed chaos
of screaming youths
and the parents that are trying
to corral and organize them.
It is an every morning thing
from what I see.

A long time ago there was no one here.
Only a few families
and every one knew each other.
It is not that way now.
People moved in because it was cheap.
Now you can barely recognize the faces.

I still live in the little home
That I built in my early twenties.
The paint is a bit frayed
but that adds to the character.

This home helped raise three children
and all of them have done alright.
There were times I was not sure
that they all would straighten out
but I guess time does that.
I was not ready for the different
ways they experienced life.
I would not have done it their way.

When I think of all the changes
that go on around me
I am thankful that I grew up
in the times I did.
It was less complicated to maneuver.
Such a simpler time.

Part II – The Youth

Getting another coffee and lighting a tobacco pipe
I can hear kids screaming at their parents
about whatever trouble they are into.
and what they got caught doing.

Shaking my head, I cannot understand
where kids learned to talk back like that.
It never would have happened
when I was that young.
My mom or dad would have
boxed the ears of anyone of us kids.

Nowadays, thought some are respectful,
there are some that are just wearing trouble.
I have heard about them missing for days
doing heaven knows what, heaven knows where
and think that no punishment should happen.

When I was young
I had no time to take off for days.
Between school work and
working with others in the potato field,
I was tired.

My parents did not have to worry
about us showing up in a ditch
from overdosing or being beaten.
My parents only worried about
what my bothers and I would do to each other.

I noticed the times change with my own kids.
They started to stand up to us
when I never would have with my parents.
We did worry but they always came home.

In today’s world there is no fear
about what may happen to them
either at home or what now
has become a crying town.

Part III – Crying Town

I do not remember when this little town
blew up to the size it is now.

When I was young, it was all fields
and dirt, muddy back roads.
There may have been two to three
other homes around me.
All properties sheltered by trees.
Privacy was a given.
I never knew what other families
were doing behind closed doors.

Sadly, as I look back,
my home was one of the new homes
that started filling up spare space.
For a new family, the land was cheap.

It was and still is a good place
to raise a full family.
People still wave
though I lost track of their names.

The whole town has grown like that.
Gone are the days of a gathering
at the gossip general store.
That was taken away
with what they call progress.

Big stores and shops line the woods
to serve the expanding population
though people are still looking for work.
Does not make a lot of sense,
jobs that no one wants.

With the people, come the troubles.
A lot of booze and drugs.
Never too sure who is on what.
I just know it is all ages.

Every so often you read of a person
disappearing or being found dead.
Such a waste, the loss.

Part IV – Loss

I am not sure if it is access to the press
and how fast news travels now,
there were and are notices every where
about kids and adults missing.

Usually they all show up
a few days or a week later.
Either hung-over or having
no memory at all.

The ones that are receiving
the missing back, do not know
how to react or even punish.
There is a fear that the people
would take off again and disappear.
There are no consequences at all.

They were all faces and names
on a telephone pole flyer.
Sometimes the local shops
windows are littered with them.

I got to see first hand
the panic that occurs
when a member of a household
goes missing, more than once.

A home three doors down on the left
lost their son for five days.
The boy was fifteen and a mess.
He took off before but only for a night.
His parent’s did not sleep
the whole time he was gone.
Each night, one parent was always on the porch,
swaying in their worry chair.
Relief came over the home
when the kids did reappear
looking more strung than before.
Aside from a hug, nothing happened
so he will disappear longer next time.

The home at the end of the road
was not as lucky.
A new single parent
found out he lost his wife.
She was found in a downtown alley,
laying there with open dead eyes
after missing for twelve days.
Holes in her in all the wrong places.
The family is still pretty tight lipped
about what the final report of death was.
There are a lot of rumours
that she was trying to bring in
a bit more money after having a child
and landed with the wrong people
or she was a victim of wrong place and time.
No one will ever know the full truth.

I do not think they will be the last.
Quietly people are wandering off
and soon we will be all immune
to the loss of other’s here.

Part V – Angry Responsibility

The anger seen in today’s world
is so difficult to understand.
As soon as a person is held
responsible for themselves,
the more venom everyone sees.

I was taught to look
at what I did first
when it caused harm
to either myself or others.

I remember when my brother
had a fist fight in the school yard.
The suspension slip brought
about his additional punishment at home.
Neither of my parents wanted to hear
who threw the first punch to who.
There was a fight and my brother
was part of it, so he was at fault. Period.

Notice a lot of parents and people
do not do that now.
They get angry at everyone
who does not live in their home.

I does not seem to matter
what lesson can be learned
from holding people accountable
and just dealing with the anger from it.
It never last long.
The pointed fingers go away
after people scream and finally think
but no one lately gets that change.

Part VI – Simple Man

So much has changed throughout the years.
Some of it, I will admit, has been good
but some of it turned out so bad
from what I have seen.

Lost in the shuffle are the old values I think.
I used to shake hands and that was a deal.
Those were the good times.
I knew that if a person agreed to do something
they would do it with quality.

I miss those times of yesteryear.
Sometimes I pray that they will come back.
I see little glimmers of it sometimes
and that makes this old heart happy.
The world may not be exploding
the way it is if that were to happen.
Then again, what do I really know.
I am just an old, simple man.

November 13, 2017
© Andrew Scott – Just A Maritime Boy 2017


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Bio: Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen and The Storm Is Coming are available now


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