Monday Poem: The Saddest Man on Earth

What’s Left — by Paul Mansfield
ignored how the rain felt
as he left home
for the last time

Wore down
his boot heels
searching for the woman
of his dreams,
but never understood
that life is a woman

Lived in a town
where sadness was illegal
and where grinning
cops ticketed his face
so often
that he lost his license
to cry

The Saddest man
on earth
tuned guitars
but couldn’t play them,
cheated the IRS
of his own refund,
fathered a child
who thought she saw
him in perfect strangers
yet didn’t recognize
him face to face

I met him once
in a bar
toasting the mirror
with his stare

He had come
south to start
life over

He was a
Mozart of silence

by Alan Kaufman
You can find this poem in — The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry