Three Words

Truth told, I always wished I were a poet, like my friend. But I’m not. I use too many words for poetry. If I WERE a lyricist, however, I know what I’d write about.

I got a note from my friend in the mail. He just got married. It was a private ceremony, he didn’t invite anyone.

He enclosed a handwritten poem:

“Thought I’d be single until I rot,
But someone thought I was hot,
Look at me, I just tied the knot.”


My friend is a bona fide poet. He went to school for such things. He was an eccentric free spirit who lived alone in a poet’s ratty apartment—which smelled like a wet bird dog.

He stayed up too late, writing poet’s poems. He ate ice cream for breakfast. Cereal for supper.

He had big plans for his life.

Then she happened. He met her at his nephew’s soccer game. She had three kids.

Our middle-aged, fun-loving, bird-dog smelling bachelor became a family man with three kids, a minivan, and a backyard that won’t mow itself.

Yes. I like love.

I know another woman who found love. Her husband divorced her at age seventy-three. She was a wreck. She didn’t think she would survive.

She stayed indoors for a few years, and hardly ever saw the sun.

Then, something happened. She began to make friends. She went to the beach some. She stayed up late, she went on dates.

Then, he happened. She met a retired boat captain—he steered barges on American river routes.

She married him. He asked what she wanted for a wedding gift. She wanted to see the world. He booked a one-year trip to Europe the very next month.

I could tell love stories all day.

Like the one about Stephanie and her husband—now there’s a story. They were told they couldn’t have kids. It devastated them.

A few years later, her best friends passed away unexpectedly. Her friends were in their thirties, with a two-year-old son.

Stephanie adopted the orphan and welcomed the child into a pink-walled nursery she’d already given up on.

Then, three years later, she got pregnant.

Truth told, I always wished I were a poet, like my friend. But I’m not. I use too many words for poetry. If I WERE a lyricist, however, I know what I’d write about.

I’d write about the unseen thing that changes you. The thing that makes all your grand ideas fall through, and replaces them with simple ones.

I’d write about how even though you are your own worst enemy sometimes; even though people wrong you; even though you almost give up hoping, it finds you in the end.

Maybe my poem would go something like:

I hope you never stop believing,
Even if believe be all you do.

May you laugh too much,
Cry too often,
And eat a biscuit or two.

May you smell too many summers,
Kiss too many bloodhounds,
And never act alone.

May you ruin your shirt with fresh tomato,
And forget to check your phone.

May someone take your hand,
Just when you think you’re done.
And show you where you’re going,
No matter where you’ve gone,

May heaven shine upon you,
And may you always find a home,
May you read the words, “I love you,”
In the last stanza of my poem.

Because so help me, I really do.


  1. allisonsieg - September 13, 2017 2:12 pm

    You are a poet. It’s all poetry!

  2. Connie Ryland - September 13, 2017 2:14 pm

    Hope lives. Thank you for your words every day. Can’t wait until October when you come to my town!!

  3. Susan Hatfield - September 13, 2017 2:15 pm

    My husband of 22 years just told me at age 66, he wants to go and “do his own thing”. I am 65. I was looking forward to retirement and doing more things together. Your words this morning give me hope that there may be a life ahead of this. Thank you.

  4. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way - September 13, 2017 2:20 pm

    We love you too — and who said you couldn’t write poetry.

  5. Jan - September 13, 2017 2:21 pm

    Another awesome love poem for life from Sean! You make my day, each and every day! Keep ’em coming, please!

  6. Marty from Alabama - September 13, 2017 2:26 pm

    Once more, I will say,”You are an old softie.”

  7. Lucretia Jones - September 13, 2017 2:35 pm

    . . .and I love you, Sean. . .I really do. . .and I thank you. . .

  8. Patricia Brown - September 13, 2017 2:38 pm

    Your spirit and observations of the world make my heart happy. Thank you. Patricia Brown

  9. Kathy Daum - September 13, 2017 2:40 pm

    Poetry is more than rhyme and rhythm. Sean, you are a poet; you see.

  10. Kim - September 13, 2017 2:40 pm

    Perfect. Just perfect. Love the southern charm and attitude.

  11. Kim - September 13, 2017 2:49 pm

    Your writing triggers something in me every single time. I don’t always have time to read everything you write, but when I do it’s genuine, so raw, and so real. I hang on to every word. Thank you!!

  12. Bobbie - September 13, 2017 2:51 pm

    We really do you too…love, I mean!

  13. Peggy gayes - September 13, 2017 2:54 pm

    Okay, Sean, now you’ve messed up my mascara.

    • TN Lizzie - September 13, 2017 3:33 pm

      Peggy, you must find clear mascara… or read Sean before you put on make-up! 🙂
      Meanwhile, I’m passing a tissue box!

  14. Linda Daughtry - September 13, 2017 2:56 pm

    Love trumps all! Biblical truth!

  15. Jack Quanstrum - September 13, 2017 3:00 pm

    I like your poem as well as your friends poem. The thing unseen yet that you write about today is the key to life. Thank you for your wisdom. Shalom!

  16. EMILY WINDHAM - September 13, 2017 3:07 pm

    Sounds like Thomas Rhett’s new song “Life Changes”

  17. Lora Joiner - September 13, 2017 3:21 pm

    You are loved! An you can write poetry! Is the old, old, oak tree still in Geneva? Saw it years ago, just wondering, in Colorado.

    • Jimmy - October 24, 2017 1:17 pm

      The old oak tree is still in Geneva, AL located between the two rivers and more beautiful than ever!

    • Monica Slaughter - October 24, 2017 4:06 pm

      The old oak tree’s roots run very deep. It still stands strong. I’m proud to be from the little town of Geneva. But I’m also glad I got to see God’s country while stationed at Fort Carson, CO. God Bless.

  18. Lynda Gayle Knight - September 13, 2017 3:23 pm

    Another one worth keeping and re-reading when I need it❣️

  19. Linda - September 13, 2017 3:31 pm

    I love the poem. We all need to believe!

  20. Beverly Wynn Bua - September 13, 2017 3:49 pm

    Loved that one…… Each time you end one of your vignettes with, I love you…….I pretend you’re saying it just to me..& I feel less isolated….
    At 82 years & alone, I only read it on “Special” occasion cards… Birthday, Christmas, etc.
    Long time since I’ve heard those words, even though written, from a handsome, young man who can play the guitar and has a way with words..
    So thank you… I love you , too

  21. rustyshouse - September 13, 2017 3:55 pm

    Mmmmmmmm!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!! Hope!!!!!!!

  22. Libba Johnson - September 13, 2017 4:07 pm

    He’s a
    Poet, but doesn’t know it
    But his feet show it
    They’re LONGFELLOW s?

  23. Beth Anne Ross - September 13, 2017 4:18 pm

    I love too, Sean of the South. I really do.
    (ps, my dearly beloved husband is taking us to Maine next week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our marriage. I do love love).

  24. MBarnard - September 13, 2017 4:21 pm

    So…after all…You’re a poet and didn’t know it…

    *please tell me this won’t post!*

  25. Terri Thorn - September 13, 2017 4:32 pm

    Worth saving??…… It must be the pack rat coming out in me – I can’t turn loose of ANY of his writings!! ?? I Love them ALL – whether I laugh or cry Or BOTH!! Anyway, yes Sean I DO Believe You ARE A Poet And Didn’t Know It!! Hee hee! Awesome job – it ALWAYS IS! Thank You for sharing with us! God Bless You & Your Family!

    • Leigh Rankin - September 13, 2017 11:37 pm

      i have a folder just for his stuff!!

      • mariam Stephens - September 14, 2017 2:09 am

        I did as well until i dicovered his web site & the archives from 2014,

    • Susan Tolley - September 14, 2017 12:23 am

      I save each and everything he writes. I read them, then read them to my husband ( if I can make it thru without crying) then when I’m down or a little blue or given up on the human race, I pull up my Sean file and fill my soul with hope, love and a new perspective.

      • Pamela McEachern - September 14, 2017 2:01 am

        Me too, feels peaceful, I understand.

      • mariam Stephens - September 14, 2017 2:07 am

        read the reply I sent to Leigh Rankin abt his web site archives & the video, it’s great to really feel like you know Sean…

  26. Harriet Bryan - September 13, 2017 4:47 pm

    That one got to me. My life is written all over it . I’m an Alabama girl who has ended up in N.C. and Florida. But “My Home’s in Alabama no matter where I lay my head” and I know there’s always hope .You never know whats at the next turn in the road. Bless you Sean for making my day!

  27. Catherine - September 13, 2017 5:15 pm

    Something I realized after reading this~at the end of each and every single thing you write I always smile. Every time.

  28. Ione - September 13, 2017 6:37 pm

    I have learned in my 75 years that all poetry does not rhyme. You write poetry every day.

  29. Jerry N N Bryant - September 13, 2017 6:44 pm

    You are a poet after all plus a great teller of the South’s ways, never stop being you.

  30. Pamela McEachern - September 13, 2017 6:46 pm

    SEAN… you are a rock star to me, anyway you want ro lay the words down is my Blessing. Thank you

  31. Brenda Reece - September 13, 2017 8:37 pm

    You don’t have to rhyme to be a poet. You just have to say something meaningful. Or not. You my friend, are a poet. And an amazing one at that! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  32. Debbie Moseley - September 13, 2017 9:05 pm

    Love, Love, Love!!

  33. Dianne Smith - September 13, 2017 10:15 pm

    I look forward each morning to reading your words — and I think they are a kind of poetry. Although I don’t know you, I think you have the soul of a poet.

  34. Dianne - September 13, 2017 10:28 pm

    I have a love story. Although right now it seems a little sad. You see, my husband of 46 years passed away a few months ago. He was my first love, my only love. I was in 6th grade and he was in 7th grade when we decided to get married. It was always just him and me…all the way through high school, college and separate careers. We got married on a cold day in December, 4 days after he turned 18. Over the span of our life together, we were blessed with two daughters and five wonderful grandchildren. Everyone says that I’m still relatively young…ONLY 63….lol….that I’ll love again. No, not like that. So, my love story may seem a little sad at the moment, but rest assured, our 46 years of “happy bliss” far outweighs the sadness of my loss. After all, I’ll see him again. He’s waiting for me on the other side, with that crooked little smile of his! Thanks, Sean, for your sweet stories and down to earth way of viewing life. I bet your sweet wife counts her blessing, too.

    • Gerald - October 25, 2017 2:21 am

      Dianne I bet you a pretty puppy you find love again. It will never equal your first love but it will be just as real. There are many good men out there that would appreciate and love a woman like yourself. 🙂

  35. Debbie Taylor - September 13, 2017 10:40 pm

    Love your poem, love your stories, love you, too!

  36. Frieda Borntrager - September 14, 2017 12:47 am

    Thank you, Sean, for these stories. I have been alone now for exactly 40 years; you give me hope. And a good reason to find more kleenx.

  37. Michael Hawke - September 14, 2017 2:32 am

    Thank you.

  38. Catherine - September 14, 2017 3:33 am

    I love love too.

  39. Karen - September 14, 2017 7:26 pm

    Love this Sean, I really do!!!

  40. Jenny Young - September 14, 2017 8:03 pm

    I so wish I could see people the way you do!

    I think I’m a kind person pretty much but I guess I can be too focused on me & mine. My world is wrapped up around my family & my dog. But I want to see the beauty in the people around me like you do.

    Keep writing their stories & maybe I’ll learn how to see better.

  41. LARRY WALL - September 14, 2017 9:47 pm

    You too, Friend.

  42. Kim O Washington - September 15, 2017 1:30 am

    I believe in the beauty of the outcome. Whatever sadness, tragedy, loss, in looking back over the years, love does triumph, every time. God sees to it. And Hope is His tool to keep us grounded in this truth. But we need to be reminded from time to time so thank you sir for the sweet positive reminder. Love stories are the best.

  43. Kathy Phillips - September 17, 2017 7:22 pm

    Awesome. Love it.

  44. Roberta - October 23, 2017 2:40 pm

    You and your writings are just so awesome….they never fail to make me laugh, or cry or both and always make me smile. Thank you for being here to describe the extraordinary (like love – which seems to never come) or the ordinary, which needs to be viewed differently sometimes. And for always showing the good side of folks, which often gets overlooked.

  45. Dorothy Stanley - October 24, 2017 9:44 am

    Please come to my town…..the most beautiful town in the United States….Fairhope, Alabama. I am 80 years young…..and meeting you is on my bucket list….better hurry!

  46. Deborah Collins - October 24, 2017 6:10 pm

    Good one, Sean. Not a bad poem, either. I like it very much.

  47. Gerald - October 25, 2017 2:10 am

    Love it, except I won’t be kissing any bloodhound. Would like to own one though. 😉


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