By Trevor Privratsky Five years ago, his wife left him unexpectedly. To make matters worse, his two grown children shut him out of their lives completely. This is why he sits alone. This is why he writes.
George Davidson sits in the corner of a coffee shop in Canal Park. He is almost unnoticeable amongst the crowd of tourists and college students that file in and out. He doesn’t seem to mind this one bit. As he sits, he writes poetry for no one in particular.
He may write about the beautiful weather or the people chatting as they get their morning coffee. More often than not, he writes his poems as a way to escape.
Davidson had a knee replacement surgery this past summer, and it was a process that took several months to heal. During his recovery, no one in his family visited him or wished him well. It did, however, give him a lot of downtime that he was able to fill with new poems.
“During my recovery, I got really sick of being inside. I started going down to Canal Park to get some air and write when I was well enough,” Davidson said.
It’s a habit that followed him after he healed. He has spent a lot of time strolling the Lakewalk and sitting in coffee shops where he sometimes shares his poems with the workers.
“Every time George walks in I have to ask if he has anything new to show me, and every once in a while, he will let me see what he is working on,” said Caribou Coffee worker Jenna Mitchell. “They are always really simple, but they make me smile.”
Even though he finds inspiration in Canal Park, Davidson’s best work always seems to come when he is down and out.
“I was pretty depressed when my wife left me and again when I was in recovery. I needed a way to cope with it, so I turned to writing. It was like a drug. When I write, I feel a little bit better,” Davidson said.
Although the exact reasons for his wife leaving were never entirely clear to Davidson, he admits that their relationship became increasingly distant as years went by.
“It has been a hard few years, but I do think that it was for the best,” Davidson said. “The hardest part is not having a relationship with my kids anymore.”
It’s been particularly hard because Davidson’s daughter is getting married in a couple months. He was left off the guest list.
“I heard about the wedding from my ex-wife and it hurt knowing that my own daughter doesn’t want me there on her big day,” Davidson said.
Even though he will not be in attendance, he will make an attempt to reach out to his family during this event. He is writing a poem for his daughter that he will send to her in time for her wedding. It’s a small gift to show that she is still in his thoughts, and he is happy for her.