The Solitary Old Man

The Solitary Old Man

He sat by the beach, aged with years

Lonely, bereft of love you could see

The haggard dismayed look, lined furrowed cheeks

 Sunken eyes half hid with once crowning lashes

Eyebrows once busy and black, now silver lined

Gaps in the hollow mouth toothless, receding

Behind the once muscular jaws now protruding

Like stiff sticks unable to hold the cheekbones

Quietly staring into the dark depths of the dark waters


Not a soul beside him … I perched myself by his side

Spreading a loving arm around his shoulders

A tear ran down his cheek

I let him cry freely as the cheeks got flooded.

 After a pause he spoke between hiccups

His wife passed away suddenly leaving him

In the care of their son

Finally one day he married and then began

Remote control

The house taken away, pension gone

Nowhere to turn to… but the old age home

Sitting by the river remembering the good old days

He suddenly got up

Walked now straight no longer desperate or sad

A shadow of light passed through him

 And then … much to my horror

Before I could hold him

He fell as if a tree cut off from the very branch

He had risen to flourish and support.

                                                             ~Shobha Diwakar 

                                                               Jabalpur, India

One Comment

  1. Old age brings not only frustration but a terrible loneliness…the worst enemy of all living beings. You have presented a simple truth in a beautiful way.