old man waits

Old man waits

Old man waits (Photo credit: Lucho Molina)

it seems he can’t remember
what he did or said yesterday
and his brown hair has disappeared
or turned to a stiff white gray

everything that he once liked to eat
now causes uncomfortable indigestion
and he feels so confused and lost
in everyday traffic congestion

he fails to even notice
when pretty young girls walk by
perhaps due to the cataracts
clouding the vision in his aging eyes

on a friendly first name basis
with a nearby local pharmacist
he sits wondering whether or not
when he is gone, he will be missed

his aging body is all sick and sagging
and slowly falling to bits
so, the old man just sits waiting
and thinking that getting old is really the pits


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  1. #1 by emmylgant on January 2, 2013 - 4:31 am

    Old age is not for sissies, I grant you. But attitude makes a difference.
    I spent Xmas dinner sitting next to a 94 yearold man who was spry, vivacious, witty, charming, and walked an hour everyday to keep his energy going…. Sure genes play a part, but still.
    My dad sits in front of the TV all day, smokes more than two packs a day, doesn’t do anything physical…he is bored out of his mind and exhausted. I doubt he will make it to 94.

    • #2 by Ronald Kirk House on January 2, 2013 - 11:21 am

      Agreed, attitude is important. And perhaps not just for old age, but for life in general.

      Some of the stanzas of this poem were actually cut from “this old man” when I decided to focus that poem on the nursery rhyme aspects. Originally, the poem had these stanzas in the middle section and started and ended with lines inspired by the nursery rhyme.

  2. #3 by Jennifer Adams Teasley on January 2, 2013 - 11:16 am

    This is so charmingly bittersweet and I adore the rhyme….I just want to give this gentleman a gentle hug:)

    • #4 by Ronald Kirk House on January 2, 2013 - 11:27 am

      Thanks. If he is like me, then he loves hugs. πŸ™‚

      This is partly inspired by my parents (they have a small piece of luggage, for example, that goes with them when they travel with all of their medications in it) and my own aging experiences.

  3. #5 by mixedupmeme on January 2, 2013 - 11:56 am

    I try to accept aging
    And think I really do
    But when I read your poem
    It is just something happening to you

    I prefer to think I’m young
    I’ll stay spry forever and ever
    Me growing old and cranky?
    Never! Never! Never!

  4. #7 by parmisr on January 6, 2013 - 11:12 am

    Sad, beautiful, real … I don’t like aging, not in others, not in me. Seeing the wrinkles and the grays is one thing, knowing what is and isn’t inside, another thing. Less beats left in the heart, less, brain cells light up above. Limbs don’t listen, intestines all backed up. I can go on and on …But I’ll stop …

    • #8 by Ronald Kirk House on January 10, 2013 - 3:07 am

      We have such a culture here in USA focused on youth, that many aspects of aging don’t seem to be realistically talked about much. Or maybe I just never listened. πŸ™‚

      • #9 by emmylgant on January 10, 2013 - 3:20 am

        I think you are right. Aging is a “problem” in our culture, not a process, not an affirmation of wisdom gained… Our culture copes with aging, it does not embrace it. No one in the US would think of calling “Living Treasures” our older creative people the way they do in Japan for instance.
        We can’t stand buildings that are 50 years old , why would we tolerate people over 60?
        OK. I’m off my soap box. πŸ™‚

  5. #10 by 35andupcynicismonhold on January 10, 2013 - 5:37 am

    nah, getting old in years isn’t the pits, sir RK. it’s having an old heart in a young body that is… πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

  6. #11 by omgvivienlopez on January 11, 2013 - 2:42 pm

    “indigestion.” so apt a word for the concept of having swallowed the fruit of knowledge. πŸ™‚

  7. #12 by omgvivienlopez on January 11, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    ohmygod, i commented on the wrong post.

    here’s my comment to this one: I think aging is beautiful. Someday I’ll strut my wrinkles around, and someday I’ll tell my husband that he is most handsome with the hints of age. πŸ™‚

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