Monday, February 13, 2012


He wasn’t so complicated, really,
this overgrown kid playing in the barn.
Once when he grew weary of listening
to my sophomoric agonizing,

he challenged me to a game of ping pong.
Who would have thought that this sly old fox had
so much game, as teenagers say today?
He was leading me, nineteen points to twelve,

when suddenly his forehand fell apart.
Taking advantage, I reeled off nine points
in a row and stormed back to victory.
Funny how beating him raised my spirits.

It never occurred to me that a man
of God might be willing to throw a game,
sacrifice himself, so to speak, for me.
When he cleared out his office, he gave me

a small wooden sculpture of a farmer
sowing seed, crouched like a ping pong player,
ready to throw away all that he has.
He wasn’t so complicated, really.

In loving memory of  Herbert Eugene (Gene) Herr, May 11, 1932 – Jan 1, 2012


Lucie Martin said...

Wonderful poem and tribute to Gene. Also love the statue.

Brian Miller said...

andrew this is beautiful story telling...and you really brought him, and his heart to life with a smile..

Heaven said...

Nice tribute to the man who raised up your spirit...I specially like the 4th verse....and I do enjoy the game of pingpong ~

Pat Hatt said...

Your words bring life to him, wonderfully done! This ding dong doesn't mind ping pong either..haha

Jebbi said...

lovely poignant picture you've narrated...just wonderful.

oceangirl said...

A wonderful tribute and I enjoyed the read.

hedgewitch said...

You've created a complete and very personal recreation of character here, both the man this is dedicated to, who sounds well worth knowing and remembering, and the young speaker. Not to mention the all important concept of sowing the seeds you want to bear fruit.

Nara Malone said...

Hmm..sly lesson there. Nice write.

S.E. Ingraham said...

You give pretty good game yourself
Andrew ... lovely write and tribute
also. Nice.