A Forgotten Man

His Face Was Brown And Wrinkled
His Clothes Were Old And Worn
Sitting On A Sidewalk Bench
He Watched The Street As Traffic Swarmed

He Seemed So Lonely As He Sat There
No One Paid Him Any Mind
The Only Time I Saw Him Smile
Was When He Looked Down And Found A Dime

He Finally Turned To Me And Said
Young Man, Do You Know The Time
I Glanced At My Watch And Told Him
Yes Sir, It’s Half Past Nine

Well, I’ve Still Got A Couple Of Hours
Son, Ain’t It A Pretty Day
I’ll Just Sit Here And Soak The Sun Up
Before I Mosey On My Way

Are You Supposed To Meet Someone, I Asked
Oh No, Came His Reply
Well, Sometimes An Old Friend Comes By
We Sit And Tell Each Other Lies

What Kind Of Lies You Tell, I Asked
He Looked At Me And Almost Grinned
You Don’t Want To Get Me Started, Son
Oh, You’re Too Young To Understand

You Look To Be About My Daughter’s Age
She’s Married And Got Two Sons
One’s Fifteen And The Other’s Ten
I’ve Never Seen The Youngest One

But, I’ve Got His Pictures, Though, He Said
He’s A Healthy Looking Kid
The Last One’s I Got Was Five Years Ago
I S’pose He’s Grow’ed A Lot Since Then

I Said, You Mean It’s Been Ten Years
Since Your Family’s Been To See You
He Said, Well, More Like Eleven
But They Both Work, They’re Pretty Busy

Still, It Would Be Nice, He Said
If I Could See Them One Last Time
Doc Told Me ‘bout A Month Ago
I Don’t Have A Lot More Time

I Phoned And Told My Girl Last Week
She Talked It Over With Her Husband, Dan
They Said They’d Try To Come In June
Now, If I Can Just Hold On Till Then

It’s Not That They Don’t Want To Come
He Said, As He Looked At Me
They’re Just So Doggone Busy, Son
It’s Hard For Them To Get Time Free

As He Rambled On, I Understood
His Need For Telling Lies
He Made Excuses For An Ungrateful Child
Who Couldn’t Care Less If Her Daddy Died

Now, I Always, Considered Myself A Man
Some Say A Man Should Never Cry
But As The Old Man Finished His Story
A Mist Began To Fill My Eyes

He Noticed The Tears And Said To Me
Son, I Guess That I Was Wrong
You’re Not Too Young To Understand
I Guess Age Don’t Matter None At All

I Watched Him As He Ambled Off
He Used A Cane To Make His Way
I Just Noticed In The Paper
The Old Man Died Yesterday

C R Clark

More Shayari in English Poetry
14 Jul 2008 No Comment

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