Folded back, broken down,
he is very thin, and he has missed patches of hair on his chin while shaving.
The young in their strength pity the old
and shun him with condescension.
But he sees well enough,
his eyes still sharp and his mind able to keep up, if not surpass.
Broken glass dropped by his hand, lying on the hard wood floor,
the house that was built generations before is now too expensive to be bought by anyone
and debts are accrued, banks holding the cards
and arrogantly so.
He worked hard
and now his health is fading.
What you are when you are young,
is what you will be when you are old, he said to me in whispers.
No smart man ever became a fool
except for where the brain is diseased;
likewise, no fool ever became wise.
I knew a man once who died because he could not love.
He could not love himself
and he drank and fought
and soon his heart turned black.
My daughter married a man
who had money, but no heart. She did well.
Standing by a hole in the ground
watching the rain water fill that black gap in the earth,
feet slipping in the mud.
They lowered the coffin in,
but who ever dies?
No one? Everyone? It’s hard to tell.