Every time I walk to the library I pass my

 old friend’s house who doesn’t live there

 or any where anymore.

 The house looks very much the same

 except for the lawn which now is emerald

 green, neatly mown and trimmed, devoid

 of former brown patches, crabgrass and dandelion.

 Orphaned, a deprived child, he was a recycling pioneer,

 saving bits of string and everything he could

 scrounge, shopping at yard sales for his wardrobe,

 furnishings and mounds of tools piled topsy-turvy

 in his musty shop, which was itself his perennial

 re-building project.

 He even had a special clip on his tooth paste tube

 insuring no bit of paste was ever wasted.

 His rusty van with over three hundred

 thousand miles no longer sits in the driveway.

 A new family of kids play, jumping rope,

 careening back and forth on skateboards.

 I’d always stop to say hello, watch him tinker,

 putter around, tightening spokes on a Raleigh’s

 girlie bike he claimed was easier to mount since

 he retired.

 We used to bike ten miles every other day for

 twenty years or more, riding round and round

 the park exactly ten times measured by

 clothes pins he’d shift back and forth on

 his handlebar. As he aged and lost most

 of his friends he’d turn around to look,

 joking the grim-reaper might not be far behind.

 He always insisted we bike home up the steepest

 hill to insure our heart muscles would stay strong.

 But days before he would turn eighty in a Cialis

 induced euphoria the grim-reaper caught up with him.

 His heart shattered like the watermelon that fell off

 a rack on the back of his bike when a bungee broke on

 his way home from the market one scorching July day.