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Contributor: Steven Jakobi

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He lived in a shack, an old travel trailer
he built up with scrap wood and siding
and shingles discarded by others.

His rusted old truck always broke.
Then he would get another. A Ford.
Always a Ford - red or blue or green,
sometimes one with all three colors.

He was a tiny man in old grimy clothes,
Wore a greasy cowboy hat that just about
made him disappear under the frayed brim.
But his dog, always groomed,
ran with a bright red collar.

He was my neighbor. A "Good Egg" who
cut my grass and fed the cat when I was away.
For ten years I knew him.
Over a beer, he would talk about
hunting and horses and life.

I moved away. Said "goodbye" and
"see ya sometime."
Always meant to.
Always too busy.

I drove by his place the other day.
His shack, the truck
and dog were gone.
As though he never lived there.

I regret never going back
while I could. Just another
missed opportunity in life.
Another "Good Egg," Gone.

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Steven Jakobi is a retired biology professor. He and his wife live in rural Allegany County, New York, with three dogs, two cats and a mess of chickens.


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