24 November 2014

For Jack

Because good blokes don't live forever.

He made time for you, Jack did. 
As if he had buckets of the stuff,
Balanced on his handlebars.

Such a small thing, really.
A wave, a nod, a wink.
It didn't have to be done. 

That fire, that warmth. 
You can't ration that.
But breath is different.

Jack was a bloke at my gym. That in itself is unremarkable. But everyone knew Jack. You'd know he was there,by his bicycle parked just outside the door. You'd hear his name bursting like popcorn from around the room. "Hello, Jack!" "G'day Jack!" You had to shout a bit. 

I only knew Jack for about five years - a long time after he played first-grade Rugby League, after he had a family and retired. He was about 88 when he first introduced himself with that tidy smile. I'd see him once or twice a week, just getting on with things. I don't remember ever hearing him complain.

Jack would always, always say hello, but never goodbye. It was always "good onya". 

He died last week. 

Good onya, Jack. You set the bar for human decency a bit high, mate

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