Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lost Boy--ABCB Poem--National Poetry Month

This is a poem I wrote about one of my favorite subjects: Scouting. I think parents often blow the idea of Scouting off as an unimportant way to corral their wild son or keep him busy, or it's just what one does with boys that age. This is my take:

Lost Boys
I glanced up the street near our rickety home
One brilliantly sunny day
There sat a boy so very alone
Forgotten and not asked to play

He taunted and teased and trouble was his
He stole and the neighbors all swore
That that boy would eventually land in jail
Where he couldn't tag houses anymore.

While around me my cub scouts were playing a game
They hollered and kidded and learned
For they were a brotherhood forged in fun
And trouble they consciously spurned.

The lost little boy, neglected and sad
Ragged and tattered and brown
Stood at the fence and watched the cubs play
On his face a dejected frown

"Want to come in?" I asked on a whim
And the little boy's eyes opened wide
"What? You really want me? You're talking to me?"
At my nod he was happy to bide.

"Are you sure about this?" my assistant asked
As she watched the young boy muscle in.
"It's the best thing I've thought of in many a day"
I said with serendipitous grin.

From that day on, the lost boy became found
With hardly a terrible swear
He came by himself, for his folks wouldn't come
And he still had no uniform wear.

I saw a marked change in that lost little boy
That made me feel peaceful inside
For what he was learning should always stay near
And his smile he could barely hide.

He played all the games and earned all his ranks
A reflection of me in his eyes  
And I knew we'd been lucky to harbor this boy
From the mean streets, impossibly wise.

But the months labored on and I was released
And another one took up the call
And because of their hatred of that little boy
They lost him; he ne'er came at all. 

Instead of triumph, I looked back at that boy
As reminder what could happen if
The leaders of boys have no heart for the job
It can build an unbreakable rift.

Don't let the work of building a man 
Get lost in the day-to-day grind
Of planning, and working, and taking the time
To fill up the little boy's mind

For someday you'll see what a man he's become
He'll look down and meet your eye
And hopefully there you'll see honor and care
And a glimpse of the mountain so high.

I still look for the boy; that lost little boy
Who stood at the fence on that day
And I wish I could meet him with open arms
And say all the things I should say.

© 2017 by H. Linn Murphy


  1. Fabulous! I had the same experience with two girls. It hurts.

  2. Wow. Tearjerker. Nice (but sad) poem, Heidi.