Richard S. Wells

Questions Observing An Old Man

The old man's cane no more than a prybar
To wrench his ancient feet from the cement,
Bare was his advance, legs seem stuck in tar
Swaying, low set metronome bowed and bent.

This half a block becomes his Normandy,
To cross a street now his imperiled beach,
It's passage alone no fait accompli
A summit of a curb awaits his reach.

Have I the right to pain at his affliction?
The urge to carry or to question him?
His burden is the end of life's restriction,
Is freedom there death's wink at synonym?

Old man where is it you just have to go?
Or is your tortuous trek to evade?
While your will's immense your motion slow,
Minute your progress as each step is weighed.

I watch your back and wonder of your face,
It's visage fear and pain or one of grace?
Cow'ring crab on inclined glass, just turtle's pace?
Does death pursue or is it life you chase?

Will you survive another heartless winter,
Or earth's icy grimace crack, entomb your bones?
The first snow falls, my bus arrives, I enter
A spryer sprawling death dirge of my own.
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