Guest poem submitted by Rama Rao:
(Poem #1966) Hello In There
We had an apartment in the city, Me and Loretta liked living there. Well, it'd been years since the kids had grown, A life of their own left us alone. John and Linda live in Omaha, And Joe is somewhere on the road. We lost Davy in the Korean war, And I still don't know what for, don't matter anymore. Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger, And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day. Old people just grow lonesome Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello." Me and Loretta, we don't talk much more, She sits and stares through the back door screen. And all the news just repeats itself Like some forgotten dream that we've both seen. Someday I'll go and call up Rudy, We worked together at the factory. But what could I say if asks "What's new?" "Nothing, what's with you? Nothing much to do." So if you're walking down the street sometime And spot some hollow ancient eyes, Please don't just pass 'em by and stare As if you didn't care, say, "Hello in there, hello."
I am a little surprised not to see John Prine on the Minstrels. Hailed by some on his debut as "the next Dylan " he has had many of his folksy lyrics sung by other famous singers. As the developed world including America ages, with larger percentages of older people in their populations, this poem captures some of the increasing loneliness they feel. The stanza contrasting old people to old trees and old rivers is particularly powerful. A John Prine bio is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Prine Rama Rao.