The millionaire commanded seas of cash
his greedy eyes successful in their quest.
But wealth will guarantee the heart nothing,
and often only offers joy in jest.
His wife left him that morning, so he marched
intently, come the evening, all alone
down to the waterfront, with rope in hand–
one end a noose, the other tied a stone.
He felt depression’s dark eyes on his soul
despondent and alone was his last stand.
He raised the anchor high to throw it in…
but soft upon his shoulder lay a hand.
He looked into a dirty, grimy face.
The bum said “Friend, I don’t know why you’re here.
I do know that tomorrow birds will sing…
I think that is a sound that you should hear.”
So stood a man whom life gave naught but pain,
beseeching one who’d always had it all,
to honor life, while still the blood is hot
and face adversity while standing tall.
The sobbing miser fell down to one knee
the sympathetic bum close by his side,
but inattentive, neither one did see
the deadly stone fall in the rolling tide.
Both men were caught and pulled off of the pier.
They fought for life together, in the end,
exhausted, drenched and dripping on the sand,
the bum found he had made a life-long friend.
© Kenneth Henry, 2014
Based on Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 silent film classic, “City Lights.” Click the Introduction link above for more information about the movie.