Ode to a Common Man

He did not lead an army

Or win a golden medal.

He never sat upon the bench

With disputes for him to settle.

He never killed another man

Or said that he would like to.

He never tried to rob a bank

And he never tried to sue.

His name is not among

The books that echo praises past.

His footprints stand not in some square

You might see if you ate their last.

His memory is only guarded

In the hearts of those who knew him,

But that fact that puts him with the best

Is that he was so human.



First Published as “Ode to CJ” America Sings, 1970 Spring, Anthology of College Poetry, National Poetry Press, Los Angeles, CA 90034


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