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


About Andrew Kreider

I'm a poet and musician,transplanted from London, England to beautiful northern Indiana. By day I am a stay-at-home dad with our three kids while my amazingly talented spouse conquers medical school one long shift at a time. At night, I'm a performer and trouble-maker. I love my life.

9 responses »

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

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

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

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

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

  6. A wonderful tribute and I enjoyed the read.

  7. 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.

  8. Hmm..sly lesson there. Nice write.

  9. You give pretty good game yourself Andrew … lovely write and tributealso. Nice.http://thepoet-tree-house.blogspot.com/2012/02/when-your-love-is-cats-meow.html


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