Monday, October 17, 2011

Old Man

He sits in his chair by the window,
And watches care-free children at play,
Listening to the sound of their laughter
As in it he is carried away,
Back to the days in his memory,
And oh, its tender music is sweet,
Before silent years when he’s simply
The old man who lives down the street

Once he was that boy on the sidewalk
So full of endless vigor and vim,
Spending happy hours on the ball-field,
Playing until the daylight grew dim,
The laughter drifting through the window
Could well be his friends as they’d meet,
Never dreaming someday he would be
The old man who lives down the street

He studies the faces of young love
Arm in arm they go, strolling by,
And he smiles in wistful reflection
As a teardrop escapes from his eye,
For he too was once a young lover
With many a fair girl at his feet,
And his youthful dreams never pictured
A lonely old man down the street

He sees weary mothers and daddies
With lively dear youngsters in tow,
Their chatter and quarrels and laughter
Are just as they were long ago,
When all of that clamor was heaven,
To be busy and weary was sweet,
Now he rocks, alone in the silence,
An old man who lives down the street

He remembers the hours of working
With a family to feed and to teach,
Bills over-due and dreams waiting
And one always out of his reach,
Mindless of the years as they flew by
Filled up with endless dead-lines to meet,
Too busy to think of an old man
Alone in a house down the street

Now he sits in his chair by the window
And watches people hurrying by,
If you stop you would see him smiling,
But often with a tear in his eye,
For everyone is still so busy
With too many a dead-line to meet,
No time to sit down just to visit
An old man who lives down the street

Janet Martin


  1. Ohhhhhh Janet,this is another one of yours that just flowed right?Love it.What inspired it?Reminds me of the other day in a consignment store I was in an older man came in and he had brought in some of his late wifes clothing.She had passed away a year ago and I couldn't help overhearing him say he is slowly going through his wifes' things. Somehow it evoked a sadness in me as I observed the owner scrutinize the mans'offering...

  2. It flowed to a point, but actually required a bit of work to get it right...I don't think I have ever written one in this meter, 9 syllables and 8 in the last line of each verse. This one was inspired by a few people I have known in my life...and some I have never met.


Thank you for your visit to this porch. I'd love to hear if or how this post/poem touched you!