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The Sick Old Man

Popularity 1Viewed 12943 times 2018-6-15 11:50 |Personal category:StoryTeller|System category:Life

Wisps of hair, like streaky clouds

Gathered 'round his head

He lay under a tattered quilt

Reclining on his bed

The musty air smelled, Oh! so foul

As I manfully held the bowl

He struggled so noisily with his breath

I feared he just might cough to his death

A spoon of soup I tried to feed him

Some dribbled down his chin

He looked at me with his rheumy eyes

Then gave a toothless grin

I wiped his stubbly chin and lips

With a hand-kerchief

Fed him water in tiny sips

As his look spelled mischief

With practised guile, I cracked a smile

"Now you better rest!

That is what the doctor ordered

and it is for the best."

He paused from a fit of wheezing

And gave me such a look

The tone of his voice was teasing

Even as it shook

"Listen, young man

I have something to say

Listen, if you can

Listen today

I don't have much time

For you or for life

There's no one to miss me here

No child or a wife

I know I am not wrong

When I say what I feel

I am not very strong

Don't think I will heal

I've had a good run

And heaps of fun

I've made many happy

And a few a little sappy

I used to be wealthy once

I was healthy too

Until fate had me in its crosshairs

It was stealthy too

I outlived my kids and friends

I outlived my wives

I look forward to meeting them all

In our future lives

Here's a little something for you

I've saved it for some time

Thanks for taking care of me

This is surely worth a dime."

From under the pile of pillows

He pulled out a couple of bags

They were full of little bundles

Tied up in dirty rags

"I know I cannot make it"

He continued with a smile

"It's for you. Go on take it,"

As he saluted me with style

"What is all this?" Hesitating, I asked

As he thrust it all at me

"Open one up and have a look," he said

And then you will see"

I untied a little bundle, and it was a big surprise

Easily a few hundred dollars in bills, I couldn't believe my eyes

There must have been a few scores of them, I really was quite shocked

He held up his hand to block my protest and then he firmly talked

"Before you say anything, now that I have your attention,

It is all money honestly earned and some part of my pension

I live on very little, I have very few needs

Some have even paid me well, for a few kind deeds

Many times before, I've given away the lot

Many thought I was a fool

But the more I gave, the more I got

And that seems to be the rule

I suspect you will be the last

I give this with my thanks

As you can see I trust people

More than I trust the banks."

I was suddenly curious,

"What were you before?" I dared to ask

For just a second, he looked furious

Then his face become a mask

"I was always a human,

Imperfect but hopefully good

Do you have any doubts?

I don't think you really should."

"Oh, sorry Sir, I meant to ask,

What kind of work did you do?"

I feared he'd take me to task,

And that is what he did do!

"Judge me not by what I did

Oh, just don't you dare

Judge me now by how I did

Everything, with care

Yes I made mistakes,

But I've got what it takes

If I did the crime

I also did the time

There are many hats I have worn

Engineer, Clerk and Teacher

There are even sheep I have shorn

I once was a traveling preacher

I have been a son, a father and a friend

I have been husband too, but in the end

I have tried to be an honest man

And in all done the best I can

One day you might find yourself,

right here in my place

But remember then, I just was

Ahead of you in this race."

It all seemed a bit too much for him

His face turned a little red

His bright eyes appeared to dim

He sank into his bed

He looked into my eyes, and touched my very heart

As good-bye to life he bade

From the dark outside I heard, the dogs' howling start

As I saw the spark within him fade

Copyright (c) KIyer 2017

All rights reserved

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands

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Comment Comment (3 comments)

Reply Report Swifty55 2018-6-20 15:50
Nice to share this. Hope people read and learn.
Reply Report KIyer 2018-6-21 11:05
Swifty55: Nice to share this. Hope people read and learn.
thanks for your comment! Much appreciated
Reply Report Swifty55 2018-6-21 15:58

facelist doodle Doodle board

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