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The Wonderer

The Wonderer
1 A wonderer can lose his aim
if left to wonder long.
Here one such man walks in a park,
his thoughts a jumbled throng.
5 He thinks about the men who pass.
He plots their varied tales –
from pirates stranded all alone
to businessmen in sales.
A sleepy man lets out a yawn
10 His night must have run late
A gamer, thief, or bartender?
A driver hauling freight?
A reader bumps the thinking man,
exchanges no regrets,
15 and shuffles off to nearby school
to rack up endless debt.
“It serves him right for bumping me,”
The wonderer perceives,
for he himself is lawyer, judge,
20 and jury naturally.
The wond’ring man sits on a bench
to ponder ever more.
Some joggers pass; they wave; he smiles –
to them he looks quite bored.
25 But thinking is this man’s great quest,
discov’ry is his right.
His thoughts may be disorganized,
not every one is bright.
But private thoughts are private thoughts.
30 Who cares what’s in his head?
Those joggers wouldn’t stop to talk;
he wouldn’t if they did.
Across the park, another bench
holds a loquacious man
35 whose hat and vest and wrinkles deep
betray his age advanced.
Two children share the old man’s seat,
their mom stands with their dog.
The old man speaks as all eight eyes
40 convey they are enthralled.
“I wonder what that old man says.”
The thinker’s head contorts.
“He’s got a captive audience,
a ringmaster of sorts.”
45 The wrinkled man just talks and talks.
The thinker man then sees
a twinkle in the old man’s eyes,
a knowing glance that flees.
The wonderer, now curious,
50 departs his bench of rest
to walk on by, to overhear
the knowledge so expressed.
The old man speaks of men he sees,
the thinker hears with stealth.
55 “His stories are a lot like mine,
but I keep to myself.”
He wanders on and wonders on,
and he’ll return next day
to swim in thoughts, alone, in peace
60 with no need to explain.

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