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Posts Tagged ‘Aging’

Ghost of the Living

The step is a little slower,

The glimmer that once sparkled now a little dull.

Age has stooped the figure once so proud and tall.

When he speaks, its a little more softly

And the hands, worn with worry and work

Are now crooked from the pain.

The dark hair has turned ice white

But the fierceness still burns inside.

He’s still in there somewhere,

Even if he doesn’t always recall where.

The pain is now mostly ours,

For, now, only we remember.

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How Late the Hour

How late the hour grows,

As the verdant canopy slowly discolors.

How short the days now seem,

As sun flees behind the horizon.

Where once in my youth I stalked the tigers,

Conquered mountains, and won wars,

Now I lament the quiet solitude,

For age is a bitter mistress.

How long the days now seem

Yet how fast time does fly.

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As Time Moves On

Among the old oaks

And in times long past

I walk a path

Often forgotten.

.

I am of an age that no longer exists.

An anachronism

Often pushed aside

Into a forgotten space.

.

I listen for the bands

That no longer play

And long for the days

When the world still seemed glamorous.

.

I look for the stars that glittered

And the crooners

Swelling with song and pride

And the good things.

.

A time when people knew each other

And weren’t strangers passing

Or one night stands

Usually forgotten.

.

I am of that age

When people went to dances

And visited neighbors

And baked cakes.

.

A time when thank you cards were sent

A neighbor in need was assisted

And political parties only mattered in November

And if you lost, you did better next time.

.

So I follow my path

And bleet like a sorry sheep

About that which has gone by

And may never come again.

.

Like the last of any generation

I feel the lonliness.

The last dragon of the mountain

Whose fire is about to be extinguished.

.

But I beg you,

Do not pity me.

For I have had a good run.

Instead, all I ask is that you remember.

.

And one day,

Should you here that strange melody,

Echoing from some distant place.

Smile, treasure it, and move on.

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As Seasons Pass

Slowly summer slips,

Like a long shadow sliding against the night.

I sit by the old oak and watch

Seeing season passing season

And knowing that I too pass

As time goes by, running like a stream

Ever changing, no step the same twice.

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Homeplace

Turning wheels and distant thoughts

As I roll past lands I had forgotten.

Where oaks once stood

And acorns fell

Fields abound, wheat grows there.

On the hill a house still stands

Old and brick, and falling in.

The barn is rubble upon the ground.

Years have not been kind to that place

And I, long forgotten

Near the end of my race.

But now I look to where it began.

Where my heart has lived

Where my soul ran.

Where I sang with joy

And played in weeds.

No, you can never go home again.

But home can always be with you.

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He stepped through the door

Smelling of old spice

Hands worn by years of labor.

Always a vest jacket on Sunday

Because the Lord demanded our best.

.

Patiently I would wait

As hellos were said

Pleasantries exchanged

And the women returned to the kitchen.

After all, the men had business to discuss.

.

More smiles, more waiting

The game would be on the T.V.

And the children shuffled off to another room

We kids could be such pests.

Little adults in training

But not trained to be little.

.

Then, finally, he would be there

His jacket off, just vest and tie.

The gold chain running along the right.

All the children ran

Hugs given, but I waited my turn.

.

After everyone had their turn on his knee

I walked up with folded hands.

He would look down his nose, over his glasses

His mustache twitching slightly as smile came.

Then gently lift that golden watch.

.

Carefully I’d climb onto his knee

Lean in, and hold the precious treasure.

Cupped between my hands I heard it tick

Felt it as it ran, almost like my heart.

Just as gently he’d open the case.

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“What time is it?” he would ask.

A concerned, false look spreading

Though his eyes still twinkled.

“Papa time!” I giggled

And he laughed a hearty laugh.

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Then he’d close the watch,

Slide it back into that pocket,

Until the next time.

Until next Sunday,

And another dinner.

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Grandfather

The smile is there on his face,

That of a child

And not the man I once knew.

His once strong hands,

Now crippled by arthritis grip.

He calls me his brother,

And perhaps I am in spirit.

And I talk, fighting back the tears.

Not that he would notice

Or understand why.

What was true then is true today.

For he had not time for pity

Or for weakness.

Now it is he who lies here weak.

And yet, we all feel diminished.

More so than he ever made us.

I pat his hand and he smiles.

Wants to know about his mother,

Now dead these sixty years

and whom I never knew.

We reassure, and ignore,

We wander on, through his journey.

Once so strong and do proud

Able to stand his own ground

Now reduced to a frail shell

With failing mind.

I think back to days,

Cross-legged on the floor

Him playing solitaire on that cedar bench

While watching Jeopardy

How wise, how strong

And only the school of life

As a teacher, having earned

His high school diploma, barely

After all, there was a war on.

So I say my goodbye

And he smiles, so childlike.

And I walk out the door.

Never knowing if it will be for the last time.

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