Parking Lot Sweeper

The old man sweeps the parking lot
Before the sun appears;
He pushes dirt or snow around
As he has done for years

I pass him every morning, but
I do not know his name;
He waves to me as I go by,
As I then, do the same

Until the day comes when I see
He’s not there anymore;
I scan obituaries, though
I am not sure who for

I feel a blinding in my eyes,
A strange, descending mist:
For one human connection
That I made, and that

I missed


Abstractions are necessities,
But something of a curse;
We hate and fight and die for them,
While everything gets worse
Like most things that we generalize
About the human race,
We judge from what we know about
Some fraction of the case
We dress up with the language of
The modern college mind,
What really is just bigotry
But of an approved kind
And so we judge all women,
Or then so we judge all men;
Not thinking individuals
Are worth considering
We shed tears for humanity
And how it’s been defiled;
And pass the grieving widow
Who has lost
Her only


I went to see some friends today
Who have a lovely pool –
The day was hot and sweltering;
The pool, though, very cool –

I floated on my back awhile,
And laughed with my old friends;
Then hurried to get back down to town
For work – it never ends –

To overwork is baneful,
I don’t need to be a fool;
So soon, I hope to go back there
And hang out at
The pool