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Old Benson, Part I

Harvey grew up in a small Maine town,
due north of Portland, and out of the way,
like most kids he’d go to the school bus
at the beginning of every week day.

And every day that he made that ride
he saw sitting on the side of the road,
an old man dressed in tattered duds,
sitting in the same spot, atop a flat stone.

He asked his bus-driver about the man,
she smiled as she explained to Harvey,
“Oh, that’s ol’ Benson, he always sits there.
He’s harmless, but a little bit crazy."

For years Harvey just accepted this,
all the adults in town said the same,
Benson was just a poor old fellow
who had something wrong inside his brain.

But as a young man, Harvey started to think
that maybe they were just telling lies,
never once had Harvey see any madness
in the look of Old Benson’s green eyes.

So one day Harvey drove the road after work
and pulled aside near where Benson did sit,
he walked up to the man, gave a slight smile,
Old Benson happily returned it.

“I hope you don’t mind me disturbing you,
but I’ve been driving by this spot for years,
and every single time I see you sitting,
is there something special about this place here?”

Benson then grinned,”I just like this spot,
though I suppose any will do for me.”
Harvey frowned. “But I do not get it,
what is there on this roadside to see?”

Benson said,”I see a bit of the whole world,
and all that this fine planet can bring.
Besides, it had always been my job
to sit back and keep an eye on things.”

Harvey just sighed and then nodded sadly,
said,”Well, I guess I’ll leave you to it then.”
Benson just smiled. “If that’s what you wish,
but I’m betting you’ll come back again.”

So Harvey forgot about that crazy man,
and just went on with the business of life.
Old Benson didn’t even enter his thoughts
until skimming the internet one night.

He was doing research for the parade
celebrating the town’s anniversary,
when he came upon a curious sketch,
dated seventeen hundred eighty-three.

There a figure sat on a hillside,
next to a rutted, winding carriage road,
drawn wearing familiar, tattered rags,
looking for all the world like a hobo.

Benson! Though Harvey, with a small laugh,
the resemblance really was quite great,
but he ignored it until he saw
a picture from eighteen sixty-eight.

There again on the very same road,
sat the crazy old man with a grin,
waving at a carriage as it passed by
in what looked like the bloom of spring.


Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 4/28/2018 12:46:00 PM
A compelling read... you tell a good story.
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