Poem: four men

four men

the man who walks beside me on my right
walks with a slight limp.
Four Men Walking
by Theodore Major
he’s wearing plaid flannel.
his face bears a grin.
he hums a simple tune.
repetitive. just loud enough to be heard.

out the corner of my eye to the left
I see another man walking.
we walk almost in step.
he has a pained look on his face. intense. slightly angry.
his left hand grasps his upper right arm.
his bare lower arm shows an old tattoo – faded and muddied.
I don’t know what it is.

I don’t need to turn my head to see
the guy walking behind me.
I know that he’s there.
he mutters under his breath.
every once in a while
he steps on the heel of my shoe.
he falls back a little.
then whispers “sorry” loud enough for me to hear him.

the man walking ahead of me just happens to be there.
I am not following him.
he strides purposefully, yet relaxed.
he’s older.
he’s completely bald,
and yet I see flakes of dandruff on the shoulders
of his dark herringbone tweed.

Who are these men?
Where are we going?
Why are we together?
What are they to me?

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