Old Man

I wrote most of this poem two years ago, when his health began to decline more noticeably, and the final verse on Sunday night after the passing of my father that afternoon.

Needless to say, it has been a rough week.

Image: Joanne Van Leerdam2020

Vigour has yielded to frailty,
Pain tarnishes every day,
He longs to be free of his misery -
Oh! If one could wish suffering away!

He despises his aged condition:
When he stands, his body is bent;
He cannot escape his suspicion
That the best of his days have been spent.

His voice has grown soft and he mumbles,
It’s harder to focus his mind,
He is more prone now to grumble -
His good humour has slowly declined.

His children observe the difference -
They lament the toll of the years;
What he prays for as deliverance
Will, for them, mean sorrow and tears.

For now, he sits in his armchair,
Dozing off whenever he can:
Precious little brings any pleasure
For the tired and broken old man.

Then, in an instant, he leaves them – 
No more misery, no tears, no night:
He…

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