Op/Ed Poetry

Poetry: Without retiring

For Peter Lebenbaum and his long service with the Counseling Service of Addison County.

Perhaps Peter has crossed your path, too.

Living here, for so many years, it’s likely 

you and your family have called him,

when you needed a bee to listen, a lamb.

Two of the creatures he’s raised, 

with his wife Marg, in their backyard.

Although you may not know Peter

earned his doctorate in listening

and sweeping out a barn. Tall,

as the tallest leprechaun, endearing

him to children and neighbors

at their wits’ end. When a friend

was needed to come over, walk-in

a front door. Sit down in his office

of their living room. When it could take

more than a professional, to hear

what could be heard, say what Peter

could say. Through the wool

of his beard. Like any psychologist,

he could run his hand through.

Like a wise man. Like a sheep shearer

shearing a ewe. A beekeeper 

knowing when to leave enough

honey for the queen to make it 

through the winter. A story

he could tell you of the times,

in the middle of the night, he needed 

to bring a struggling lamb 

into the house, nurse and name it. 

For the days to come. For the time,

before you knew it, you would feel better. 

Without really knowing how it happened.

And Peter was there. Sitting with you. 

Gary Margolis


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