Spoonful: A Gathering of Stone Soup Poets

An extension of Cambridge's Stone Soup Poetry Venue.

Edward S. Gault

The One Great Thing

When I was a child,
Maybe around seven
I would spend all day long
Watching the broadcast of Neil Armstrong
Walking on the moon.
Grandpa told me in the car
That it was the first time
Anybody had ever walked on the moon.
On the radio, I heard L.B.J.
Talk of ending poverty one day.
I heard the things people had to say
And I wanted to be the president, or the guy that walked on the moon.
I wanted to do The One Great Thing. One little step for man,
One big step for mankind

-that kind of thing.
I’d cure some disease like polio as did Jonas Salk
Or write something like Grapes of Wrath.I’d be invited on t.v. to talk.
I’d be in the history books.
At parties, people would gather around me,
And ask me what I thought about stuff.
Years passed and somewhere along the way,
People let go of their dreams and ideals
Pursuing money and their careers
-Subarus and McMansions.
One guy couldn’t even remember just how many homes he had.
The Dynasty Decades.
I took the train to work each day,
Thankful simply to have a job to go to.
I would listen to what folks had to say,
About their stock options and level of pay.
I opened up the Boston Globe,And saw a picture of the man
Who swept the sidewalks in the North End.
The article was about a man who never gave up on the dreams-
He started kitchens for seniors to eat;
Organized programs for learning to read.
Even free concerts on the Boston Common.
It said “he gave his own coats or gloves
To those who were cold or in need.”
And with little thought to himself.
And memories of my own dream of The One Great Thing
Came rushing back.
And who was it really for?
Not one thing, but each thought and each act
Is like a raindrop baptizing us all in the holiness of life
And all the possibilities
of what can be
-of what we can be.