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Just Me the Old Bench

Updated on September 25, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth, loves satire and writings to spotlight others, but he also has an "addiction" so to speak, to dramatic and abstract/prose poetry.

Two old men passing their lives away.
Two old men passing their lives away. | Source

There They Sit

so peaceful. So effortlessly. Silently passing the time away. Nameless figures on the sundial of time living on forgotten wishes, broken dreams, and dusty desires. They sit. Their work is done. They wonder. And wonder from dawn 'til dark. And wonder more while they taste of elderly dreams that come too rarely--fading faster than the eye can blink.

They forget they are asleep for dreams become reality (for some). The dances they dances and mountains they climbed are all still too real (for some). Fear shows its ever-present face--ready to head for a long trip, leaving somewhere, arriving nowhere. They sleep. Dreams are shorter. Breaths now labored. Age touches their empty bottle of youth.

A stick. A cane. A hat brim hides a forgotten face. Years pile up as promises lay dying. Life's legs are not strong enough to walk so far away. They fade before our eyes--so pale and white with faces deep in defeat so deep and white snow on ragged roof tells a forsaken love of old. Their heart throbs . . .but slower than hours ago. Their hands shake reaching for one more desire to enjoy. One more taste of sweet life to swallow. But what remains are crumbs of success promised and drops of vows of goodness drained.

Every Small Town

has one. You have one. I had one. The overlooked. Taken-for-granted pieces of painted wood built by hands to hand out the good. A place to sit, rest, and take it easy. Let life absorb the details. Sit with your friends, the old friends who all know your name.

I have more than one color. But speak several languages. I am no one. I can be everyone, but no one really special. No star-lit names or dime store games. I once lived when you were young and you grew away--but I've had anywhere to go. I lived in the dreams that you would all be back one day.

So eventually, when old clocks struck 12. You came. But your talk is slower. Your ambition lower. All by yourself, just you and me, the old bench.

Oh, you and I are far from alone. On the other side of town, I have a few good friends who look and act like me. I know that I'll never see them--unless we are buried in a junkyard, you see. Old friend, your three friends are coming today. Sit up! You should be happy, friend. You have no reason to be sad. Oh, if I had lived the life you lived, yes, sir. And oh, if I had been given the good things you've had.

But alas, old friend, raining on my back causes it to stench. Bad paint, I guess. Oh, just let it go, my friend. Just you and me, here the old bench.

In the Years I've Lived Here

I've saw a thousand winks of pretty girls now old. I've saw cheap peddlers sell, lie, and then quickly go. And I've stood quiet and watch the wind, the rain and threatening lightning ring. Still I sit with your fists that clench. Just you, me here, the old bench.

Some who sit with you chew while some may smoke. One I know is a prince and one maybe a bloke. One who passed a year ago, fought two wars with you. And keep his memory aflame. But in my case, what's in a name? I never crawled in your trench. I was young then. Just someone's dream--so colorful and not a word so dense. Yeah. Just you and me here, the old bench.

Go on. Sit awhile. I don't mind. I have nowhere to go. Stay a long time while you and your old friends can chat. Take time to see where they are at. Take the same time to see where you are at. It's not really funny. I won't charge you any money. Not a pence. I'm just here with you, and me, the old bench.

Charcoal drawing of a Study of Two Old Men.
Charcoal drawing of a Study of Two Old Men. | Source

© 2017 Kenneth Avery

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    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 3 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Patricia TL,

      It is so Very Nice to meet you, fellow poet!

      I am into Abstract/Prose for the most part. The romantic and dark romantic to be exact.

      I am headed to your place and check your work.

      Thanks, Patricia.

      Write me anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 3 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Ashish Dadgaa,

      Thank you so kindly for your humble comment that means so much to me. I mean that and may God bless you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Peace.

      Write soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 3 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Amen, RoadMonkey!

      So, so true. And I am the most guilty of seeing a bench that our town placed in the lawn to our city hall.

      In years I sat there and enjoyed myself.

      I was there for a community theater meeting and even while me and the other members who were filing in, I was so inclined to let them do the meeting while I just sat and relaxed.

      Thanks so much, RM.

      Write soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 3 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Greetings, Venkatachari M,

      Peace to you.

      And I have to thank you for observing the bench to such a level of reality that I feel so neglectful of the benches that I have seen over the years.

      Great comment.

      Write soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 3 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Gypsy Rose Lee,

      Me too.

      But only if I could meet you, bring us tea (or coffee), and chat in the afternoon sunshine.

      I would love that.

      Thanks for the comment. Write soon.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

      Enjoyed this very much. Being completely alone I would love it if there was a bench I could meet up with friends on and chat for awhile.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Enjoyed this musing very much. The relationship between a man and a bench is often lifelong. You play there in the childhood. You enjoy your evenings or weekends there with family and friends. And it is the support during your old age. Very true fact revealed by you so nicely.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 weeks ago

      Yes, it's amazing, some people look at a bench and see a few planks of wood. Others look and see a source of friendship, stories and long memories.

    • PatriciaTL profile image

      PatriciaTL 3 weeks ago from Lehigh Valley

      I love it!! I, too, am a poetry addict. As for prose... when well written (as yours certainly is), the poetry within literally speaks for itself. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashish Dadgaa 3 weeks ago

      @Kenneth Avery,

      Very nicely written. I just loved your writing style.

      It is exceptional :)

      Great work.