“Dear hearts and gentle people”
A note found on the path.
I pick it up and hold it close
The one who wrote: what more would he have said
If time was on his side and he were not now dead?
The hearts to whom he spoke,
Gentle, so he said. Perhaps his mother? Sisters?
Or imagined caring friends?
The title of the poem is from a note written on a scrap of paper and found in Stephen Foster’s wallet at the time of his death in 1864.