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The Sick Old Man

Popularity 1Viewed 6661 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.)


Passing

Eggs

Flowers

Shake hands

Ray
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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
welcome

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  • The Sick Old Man 2018-6-21 15:58

    welcome

  • The Sick Old Man 2018-6-21 11:05

    Swifty55: Nice to share this. Hope people read and learn.
    thanks for your comment! Much appreciated

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