Old Man Bowed in Church
I've searched, walked, crawl, even begged strangers for a photo, painting, maybe a hurried sketch of an old man who has lived all that he wants to live. An old man who is now torn, forlorn, and is out of focus with daily life. Maybe in his stride, he was a soldier with men in his charge. Or he might be an explorer searching for hidden lands at large.
Or just maybe he is just an inexact number of society in any rotation of our earth, who is mostly faceless, nameless, and riches gone. Only his breath in his lungs he bows to his God. Sadness has made him a Squeer, a muted foe and vacant friend. But when every sundown has been tallied, he manages the awesome, eye-striking task to walk. That's his payment for years of obscure devotion. Walking: a meanial paycheck given by those whose righteousness could not allow dirt to be on their hands. Just his. Sad as it is, he breaths a counted breath. He is even now viewing a compassionate death draped in velvet shroud. His only dust will come from his grave shoveled down.
He never asked for a wife. But vowed in his heart that if one were risen, he would seek the love of the female voice, form, and mystery. He spent it all. And caught none. Out of her purity and pity, she is waiting to walk in a long, silken dress with matching veil to gently place a moist red rose upon his once-prideful chest. Oh, don't be sorry for the old man here. Here sits a soul of means and a history unseen--the parts only God can read. Only handed down to elderly men like this one. You may know one or two. I do.
Yes, two. Two old guys whom I saw each sunny and rainy day of my working life and before I ceased from chasing a pocketful of money to fill someone's wish, I stopped one day and just listened to the old guys to learn what they would say. Amazingly enough, both never spoke with lip or mouth, but with eyebrows arched; eyelids closed and if anything they might muster a sad sigh from worn-out lungs, but they spoke in eloquence. I was the one so ignorant in their presence.
By now he sits. Alone, alone. No wishes to make. No promises to repay. Just his spirit and his Creator in intimate dialogue that only flesh can hear as static and rumbled nouns. But he still knows about his Creator and the Creator has known him since birth--felt his pains, shed tears when work garnered no gains and yet the Creator stood inside of his being. Young and old. No one is loving kindness could ever suspect that maybe this old man was meant for nothing. Lived for secrecy and gave all his hands had made.
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© 2017 Kenneth Avery