Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Old Man

There's an old man
I pass
everyday
on the way to uni.

Everyday
I pass him,
everyday
I see him,
and only today
have I come
to realize
that I see him
more often
than I do
some of
my
friends.

Everyday
he pushes
a cart
filled to the brim
with people's
old scraps;
people's
forgotten momentos,
memories,
trash,
and sells them
for cash.

Everyday
he pushes
this cart
with knobby hands,
stopping every
few yards
to catch
his breath,
to take
a break,
to rest
his aching back,
which is so
contorted
it looks like
he has
a writhing snake
coiled up
within him,
running down
the entire length
of his
back.

But telling
from the tears
I saw him cry
today
for the very
first time
as he sat
weeping
alone
in the April monsoon
rainstorm,
it's not a snake
he has
coiled
inside,
but rather
a sense
of sadness,
so deep,
so awful,
so agonizingly raw,
that it made me
turn
and stare
as I drove past,
causing a tear
to trickle
down the length
of
my own
face.

15 Comments:

At Tuesday, April 04, 2006 8:13:00 AM, Anonymous pan said...

now i feel my heart breaking

 
At Tuesday, April 04, 2006 8:30:00 AM, Blogger Matador said...

you almost got a tear out of me too old man, or is it you Lynn who moved me with your words?

 
At Tuesday, April 04, 2006 11:23:00 AM, Blogger k.t.x said...

it's a hardlife out there.

there must be something significant which had affected him for such an outpour....i wonder what's it.

 
At Tuesday, April 04, 2006 6:14:00 PM, Anonymous Andrew said...

So tomorrow are you going to stop for a few minutes and see how he is?

 
At Wednesday, April 05, 2006 1:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

touching poem

go carry a general conversation with him, it would mean a lot more; and it would mean the world to him that someone as espicially as young as you would actually have the heart to stop and talk to him.

-Bo

 
At Thursday, April 06, 2006 5:37:00 AM, Anonymous Tweeta said...

There are always those people I pass and that I want to help out. There was this old woman on the champs elysees who was always shoe-less and thin as hell, screaming and crying about something (I think she's a polish immigrant). I always want to help her (even though the last time I saw her was a year ago), but you realize that there's no end to it. There are a million of other people who are like that. And once you start, you can't stop.

 
At Thursday, April 06, 2006 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Baba said...

That was sad to read. That's how I feel about the homeless guy who started living opposite our building recently. He just sits there all day sometimes with his head in his hands and he just looks like the loneliest man on the planet. When it rains I look out to check if he's ok and feel like I should do something, but I don't know what.

Btw... you must like E E Cummings poems, have you ever read them?

 
At Monday, April 10, 2006 3:43:00 PM, Anonymous Art said...

i particularly like that bit about the scraps in his cart. the sense of loneliness that i got from the poem is simply overwhelming.

the format/shape of the poem ... did you intend it to look like the old man's back? (long, uneven spine ... matched by the long, uneven lines) that's what occurred to me anyway.

well done, Lynn. again i am amazed by your talent for observation, and your ability to convey ideas and imageries through verbal expression.

 
At Monday, April 17, 2006 10:41:00 AM, Blogger naeglerian said...

How sad...the sense of loss (whether of a loved one, of dignity, of hope) is palpable here. Far too many similar incidents the world over.

 
At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 6:59:00 AM, Blogger james said...

Well written and sad. I hope all is well.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:18:00 AM, Anonymous Newluxe said...

Awwwwwww..... :-(

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 10:38:00 PM, Anonymous Poeh said...

Charming and bittersweet.

 
At Tuesday, May 02, 2006 4:54:00 PM, Anonymous Monta said...

Lynn, where or where are you? I am in Bangkok. Until August anyway. Give me a call 02-392-7850

 
At Wednesday, July 12, 2006 8:55:00 AM, Blogger tom barrett said...

Why so glum ?
Left of Me

 
At Saturday, July 15, 2006 10:33:00 PM, Blogger KorBua said...

it's just so sad... it's like u see him and this sticks in ur mind. i kinda feel sad for the old man. sometimes when I see these ppl, I usually make me feel better by hoping that their lives will soon be better... but that might not be the case and i'm just trying to fool myself. sometimes i just choose to turn away so i dun hav to feel so sad, but maybe it's time to do something.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home