When we learn to listen

There is a lyric, somewhere,
lost
between the altruism of truth and hope.

I saw a man today,
crepe paper skinned
encased in an ancient armchair.
Twinkle in his eye,
from his lips came a century’s
memories in a blink of an eye.

His nurses laughed as
stories of his long forgotten
brothers in arms melded
with grandsons and a wife
Twenty years gone
still remembered with a tear.

His family grieved
as he clutched that telegram
from a Queen he’d served with his youth.
Blinded by age,
not seeing the vibrant truth that sat,
in an oversized cardigan before them.
His soul as clear as the day he
squalled from his mothers thighs.

There are truths, and Truths
and lessons
and miracles
and hope.

Where do you look?

There is a lyric, somewhere,
lost
between the altruism of truth and hope.

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39 responses to “When we learn to listen

  1. Perhaps that lyric lies somewhere within the truth & beauty of this hope-filled poem? So thought-provoking & such a gentle yet constant tempo that seemed to usher me through each line & then stand me still at the end, captured by your first & final stanzas. Super write Shan 🙂

  2. ah this is beautiful shan…i would love to sit and hear his stories a bit…and maybe he’d let me look at that letter as well…our elders have many a story for those willing to listen…

    • That’s exactly what I did, I refused to give him a kiss because I had a cold. Didn’t want to infect him, but he was the most fascinating man I’ve met in a long, long time.

      • yeah, this fits perfect….i read it again, knowing i had read it but knowing how much i loved it the first time…that description in the second stanza….the refrain….this is great writing shan…

  3. There are truths, and Truths
    and lessons
    and miracles
    and hope.
    Yes, yes, yes and yes.
    A very moving piece on a subject that is becoming more taboo with each passing year.

  4. This is an amazing piece of writing, Shân. You have captured both the gifts and the curse of age so beautifully. Word choice is impeccable. A sensitive and perfectly written capture.

  5. This is beautiful. Must have come from a beautiful soul. Will you marry me. No, on second thought you probably couldn’t put up with my silly sense of humor at The Poet Laura Ate. But thanks for the thoughts, The Gerontificator.

  6. Wow, Shan. This is vivid, astounding actually.

    crepe paper skinned
    encased in an ancient armchair.
    Twinkle in his eye,
    from his lips came a century’s
    memories in a blink of an eye.

    I know this man now.

  7. i remembered this one…full of warmth and beauty…
    There is a lyric, somewhere,
    lost
    between the altruism of truth and hope…wonderful close as well

  8. Well, here’s a feather in your poetry cap:
    I remembered this one. Amongst the hundreds we read each week, I actually remembered this. Well done, again.

  9. Shan, this touched me so much. I’ve worked with the elderly much of my life and there is so much beauty for those who take time to discover it. Unfortunately, too many of us just see the surface. Personally, I think aging faces are glorious…but now I’m getting there myself.

Put me out of my misery people!

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