Before dawn, the old man before me
sighed when I covered his face
with white foam. He stared that look of
What have you to show for your life?,
which stung like I might have
rubbed lather too high on his cheek.
My focus slipped to the scoreboard
of my past. Visitors still led Home,
but I’ve learned it’s only a game.

I looked in his inquiring eyes,
knowing that beneath his snowy disguise
jutted hard-won lumps and crags,
the bare scars and earthy stripes.
I remembered from where each rift
and rill, was the one blazed this frontier
over sixty years. I drew its map.
As I picked up the razor, I smiled.
Then I turned out the light.


On this Day 8 of my Poem-A-Day 2014 and National Poetry Writing Month, I used the NaPoWriMo prompt to rewrite a famous poem, giving it my spin. My friend, Mark Stratton asked me today what my favorite poem is. I told him it’s “Ask Me” by William Stratton. Here’s my quite-Hesch take on the great American poet’s work.

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