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Old Man of the Mountain

Taking a vacation

Somewhere way up north

The dark of night upon me

In travels back and forth

And suddenly I saw a light

A small sign beckoned me

An old inn stood there

In the black

A sign said, “Vacancy”

It was a quaint

But regal place

Its entrance was quite vast

A presence quite Victorian

When wealthy ruled the past

 

And as I entered

The main room

About to book a stay

A large framed picture

On the wall

Just blew me away

 

Almost looking at me

His eyes seemed full of pain

But that warm face

Was comforting

It struck a special vein

 

He stood behind this counter

A hundred years ago

“Who was this man?”

I wondered

No one will ever know

 

He must have worked

In this hotel

I questioned what he did

But clearly from the picture

I saw a pious Yid

 

I saw the great white beard he had

The peyos by his ears

I saw the eyes

That longed for hope

About to fill with tears

 

I think his eyes

And his whole heart

Did long for his old town

The system of

This great new world

Had surely let him down

 

Perhaps he was a refugee

From Czar Nikolai’s decrees

Who landed stuck

A lonesome Jew

A life filled with unease

 

He worried for his children

How they would turn out later

Growing up

Here in Vermont

Without a proper cheder

 

What have become

Of Jews like him

So pious and so pure

And yet so lost

In this free land

To raise a future dor

 

Thrust in a world

That gave him hope

Yet many tests to pass

And for the multitudes

Of them

Their future did not last

 

Behind the desk

Of this hotel

In the Land of the Free

But in his heart

He asks himself

“Where do I want to be?”

 

In the tears

Of loneliness

I see within his face

I see a man who’s truly lost

For this is not his place

 

Epitomizing

Our journey

In comfort in this land

The pain inside

Is something that

We only understand

 

Perhaps we are so lucky now

We have all that we want

But till we really

Come back home

We know it’s all Vermont