A simple country rube was he,
short at the cuff and out at knee;
but standing with his hat in hand,
he made a gesture brave and grand.
He faced the richest man in town—
a brutal man of wide renown
who saw him as a simple clown—
a fool just made for shooting down.
While in his case, it was debated
whether being educated
made a fellow learning-smart
at the expense of building heart,
nonetheless, he was well-suited.
His choice in fashion not disputed.
Well-tonsured, polished, buff and tan,
the epitome of a GQ man.
He stood there in his doorway wide,
framed by the luxury inside
and eyed this bumpkin, shy and dim.
What business had this man with him?
“Speak up,” he barked, “if you are able!
You’ve pulled me from my breakfast table.
Speak your piece and take you off
to plow or hoe or watering trough!”
And though the rube was shy and humble,
he did not stammer, falter, mumble.
He simply drew a folded note
from the pocket of his coat,
handed it over, and said good-bye,
facing him with steely eye,
and with no other reason to stay,
climbed in his pickup and drove away.
The great man turned upon his heel
and went in to resume his meal.
He buttered toast and spread compote
before he thought to read the note.
“Jacob,” it said, “I am Janelle—
that one that you once knew so well.
When I left, you never knew
inside I carried part of you.
But now my life is nearly done,
I think it’s fair you meet your son.
Because of my sad circumstance,
he promised to give you a chance
to reap the harvest you have sown
and meet the son you’ve never known.
But, take care that things do not go badly.
He does not suffer fools gladly.”
The prompt word today was rube.