Touch: The Journal of Healing


The Parable of Bailey

    by Ed Bennett

“We are here on earth to fart around.

Don’t let anybody tell you any different.”

-   Kurt Vonnegut

Bailey was the perfect mentor:

a snowy cap of exuberance,

erudite with the focus

of a ruby laser cutting steel –

an engineer of peerless type

who found solutions in his thoughts

while the prolix managers

framed failure with fuzzy cant

until it was decided that the need

to find the most direct route

between two determined points

conflicted with the marketing plan

and Bailey, the rock, the achiever

was met with false tears of termination

by those with a secret laughter

as he filled his cardboard box.

We missed him – we the gear heads

who built products under logos

that waved from multi – media portals

like harlots whispering promises.

Two years beyond his forced retirement

a polite duty of a hospital visit

drew me past the Pediatrics ward

with laughter sprung from beds and ventilators

surrounding Bailey in greasepaint,

a rubber bulb of a nose

singing nonsense rhymes to children

with wheelchairs and shaved heads.

He smiled, sang louder, approached –

pulled me into his maelstrom

of silly jokes, coins from ears,

the sound of contentment in his voice.

“Do you ever miss it?”, I asked,

about a career carved with superlatives.

“No, not one bit.” He said

over the shouts of children needing more

and I left him there in his new career

seeing in him a softness and a smile,

creating happiness from intangible words,

weaving circuits of laughter in greasepaint and joy.

© 2009 Ed Bennett

Ed Bennett is a Telecommunications Engineer living in Las Vegas. Originally from New York City, his work has appeared in the Manhattan Quarterly, and The Patterson Literary Review where he was a finalist for the 1997 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. His most recent work appears in New Verse News, The Externalist, VIMMAG , Touch: The Journal of Healing, and the spring 2009 edition of Philadelphia Poets.


Copyright © 2009

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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