The old man  

rm_StatueBob 51M
0 posts
9/4/2005 4:49 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

The old man

My lame attempt at poetry...

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His face is cracked
time has not been kind
his hair is whiter
than the whitest white
his shoulders are slouched

He carefully moves the jar
Vegemite
He wears his thoughts
on his sleeve
for the observant to read

His hand is cup
carefully cradling the few coins
like his face
his hands have aged
rough and hard

Counting the coins
he knows how much he has
he knows the price of the jar
carefully he touches the jar
hoping

The cashier walks away
she's helping another couple
they were there first
I can feel him suck
on the air in the store

Looking at the coins
he absent-mindly
taps the yellow lid
on the conveyor belt
by the checkout

Carefully he prods
the coins in his hand
making sure they are still
all there
making sure he won't be caught short

I can imagine Vegemite
would taste better than plain bread
a small spoon full in hot water
although it's not coffee or tea
it's still better than plain water

I wonder what his father's day
was like
the day before
was he alone
did he get more socks
more underwear

I know he wants me to leave
I can feel the fear
not having enough money
even though he knows the price
even though he knows the number of coins

I wish I had Bill Gates money
I wish I could help more people
so many to help
so little time
so little knowledge

I know it's never too late
until it's too late
is it too late for him
is it too late for me
it's never too late

The cashier returns
the two of us can see
she has a folder
this will take a while
before he knows he has enough money

Perhaps
I haven't read his mind
perhaps
I have seen my future
in 30 years time

Another cashier catches my eye
she has opened a checkout
I wish one last time
moving on
I go to her checkout


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