But he was very good-natured
They said, before the disease
Did such damage to his brain.
People liked him, and flocked
To his store, in numbers that drained
Him of energy and left him tired
And flat at the end of the day.
Many of the young people he hired
Went on to bigger and brighter
Futures, but never forgot
His nurturing hand. But the tighter
The grip of the illness,
The gruffer his manner,
And the more a certain stillness
In his speech made him seem cold
And unfriendly. He quit his various
Volunteer jobs, claiming he was too old
To waste his time on such trivia.
He had more and more trouble
With words and seemed oblivious
to the concern others felt. He became
Frustrated and angry. Nobody
Could talk to him. The game
Had come to an end. It was decided
To place him in a home, and though
He went along, in his mind he derided
The lot of them. Then one day
It happened. All he wanted, he said,
Was to sit in his usual chair, and play
Solitaire, and wear his usual crown,
But a woman got in the way, and
He pushed her, and she fell down.
After that, he was a marked man.