Sunday, April 30, 2017

my neighbor is a primal force

Welton Clayton

I love to know a person, well enough,
so that I realize that their sense of self is grounded,
is real, is honest and forthright—
that is Welton—
he is a primal force,

an unapologetic wielder of a sure take on the world,
just get him started on somebody
whose life doesn’t follow the rules he knows well,

for Welton, fools are not to be suffered gladly,
yet, at the heart, he cares deeply for others,
for years he has grown a huge garden,
at least as much for others as for himself,
his heart as big as his body,
both of which he has thrown at the world,
in his longtime job at the Pepsi plant,
on the tractor in his gardening, 
with a chainsaw so as to heat his house,

he finds a joy in life, in his children, in his grandchildren,
in food, a good chaw, a cigar,

I visit New England and imagine a glacier,
slowly but inexorably moving across the land:
that is Welton and his will,
wherever he passes is changed
by the quiet force of his life.

by Henry H. Walker
April 18, ’17

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