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"I climbed a mountain for the view, but the view

refused me, clouded over and left me stranded 

in my meagerness."  

"help me" by nicdalic is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Someone Please

by Todd Matson

Someone please, tell me 

the appropriate response 

to seeing a disheveled old man – 

someone’s father, grandfather 

masked and hobbling 

through a grocery store, 

talking to his wife on the phone 

with a phone in each hand, 

one for each ear – 

speaking to her from one, 

answering, in her voice, from the other, 

whispering terms of endearment – 

“honey” “sweetie” “sugar” 

as he looks for the sugar 

he can’t find in the aisle. 


Somehow gently placing 

a 4-pound bag of sugar 

sprinkled with teardrops 

in his wrinkled hands 

amidst masked, de-faced strangers 

filling carts with bread and water, 

toilet paper and hand sanitizer, 

asking him if there is 

anything else he needs 

seems not quite enough. 


So, I stalk him, inconspicuously, 

from aisle to aisle, eavesdropping, 

feeling almost guilty, like a child 

with an ear to the door 

of an intimate conversation 

not meant for him. 

“Did I get you everything 

you asked for, love?” 

And in his best imitation of her, 

“Yes love, wear your mask 

always, hurry home.” 


Someone please, paying for 

the paltry items in his cart, 

placing them in his car 

seems not quite enough. 

Todd Matson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  He has written poetry for The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling and has been published in Vital Christianity.  He has also written lyrics for songs recorded by a number of contemporary Christian music artists, including the Gaither Vocal Band. 


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