He’d Bought a Dream

Posted on December 9, 2010


I watched a man crossing a Walmart parking lot with a fishing pole under his arm. It was around Christmastime, so it struck me as odd. A fishing pole in the middle of winter? I put myself into his head and out came this poem!

Walking ‘cross the parking lot, and tucked beneath his arm,

A man held tight a fishing pole: a gift for a young child.

The man looked cold. His coat was thin. His shoes well-worn by time.

I wondered if his finances were just as tight as mine.

Just one gift he had that day for his wife to see.

I thought about the child who’d get that gift beneath the tree.

It struck me then and hit me hard what in reality I’d seen.

He hadn’t bought a fishing pole. The man had bought a dream!

On his face were playing out future fantasies he had.

Of sitting on a beach all day and fishing with the lad.

First they’d dig up worms with spoons and laugh as buddies do,

Of squirming bodies, guts and gore, and squishy, muddy shoes.

He’d dream of driving in his truck, his son beside him close,

Heading for a fishing spot along the sandy coast.

They’d talk of things that mattered most like how the day had been,

Or where the ends of rainbows are, and what is in the wind.

They’d share forever sunsets as they drove the endless miles,

Enjoying every moment spent and thanking all the while

The dads who tried to spend their time with those who mattered most;

The ones who listened, played, and laughed, and held their loved ones close.

I saw in that one moment there, the man as he strode by,

Much more than what he held so tight. Something money could not buy.

I saw one gift, a man, a child, a future and what seemed

To be the greatest gift to buy…the man had bought a dream!

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