Saturday, January 22, 2011

Poem: I'm Just An Old Man Asking

I'm Just an Old Man Asking

The old man shuffled
Across the parking lot,
Sloshing through the snow,
Head down against the wind,
Shielding himself from the sting
Of yet another winter
In his life,

But this year was different,
This year he was alone;
Alone for the first time in sixty years,

He never imagined
Being married for sixty years;
Who could imagine such a thing?

Helen died in December
At Christmastime,
The worst time for death,
All tangled up with holiday lights
And joyful Noels,
People smiling, sharing cookies,
Hugging strangers,
Too busy for death,
Not right now
They thought,
Save it for another time,
A time without cheer,

But death could not wait,
Now George was alone,
To buy his groceries, go to church,
Dust the house, do the dishes
Sort his laundry,
Make the bed,

Live his life,

And so he did,

He shuffled toward the door,
Entered the recreation center,
Headed to the children’s reading corner,
Found his favorite chair
And settled in,

Within minutes he was surrounded,
Children clamoring 
For a story,
Clamoring for a spot 
On his lap,
Holding books in their hands,
Holding hope in their smiles,

George smiled back
And began to read,
Thinking, Lord, please give
These children long lives and love,
Give them futures
That sparkle like holiday lights
And burst with joyful Noels,
May their nights be free from fear,
May they have someone
Who loves them near,
I'm just an old man asking,
I pray with all my heart, 
Please grant this wish for all these kids,
And I will do my part.

P.S.  Tell Helen I'm doing okay.  I'll be along in a few years,
but I still have some important little people to look after here on earth.


  1. This made me tear up... a beautiful poem.

  2. Thanks, Brynn. I loved the thought of this old man finding meaning and purpose in his life after his wife was gone. Take care.

  3. Very nice! There are people like this man, even if you imagined him.

  4. Yes there are, Libby. I like his optimism and his feeling of being useful.