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The Old Man, The Child and the Swing


I’ve enjoyed writing for many years. I'm dedicating more time to the craft in my retirement days.

The Old Man, The Child and the Swing

It wasn’t that many years ago

The first time I saw the old man, the child and the swing

I was staring out the window at the beautiful day

When I heard the phone ring

As I talked on the phone and I watched the old man approach the little girl

I remember I began to cry

Somehow I knew it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship

One that would hopefully never die

Well, every day after that for maybe five or six years

That old man and that little girl played together on the swing

You know, really enjoying themselves—laughing and carrying on

Not caring about much of anything

Yeah, it just made me fill up with love to see them together

Sharing their love and thoughts and jokes

And I could see it building on the old man’s pride

And his emotions and his hopes

Somehow that really worried me

And I hoped that what they had would never end

‘Cause I knew if it did, it could cause a pain and a heartache

That might never mend

Well, sure enough, one day I looked out the window at the swing

And there was nobody there

But I could see the old man

He was hobbling his way up the square

I could see a sad expression on his face

As he got closer to the swing

And as I watched him make his way nearer

Again I heard the phone ring

As I talked on the phone and I watched the old man

I remember I began to cry

‘Cause as he sat down in the swing

I could see a tear in his eye

Yeah, I kinda knew this day was coming

The little girl had just grown up and gone away

But with all the love I saw there between them

I guess I just kinda hoped she’d stay

And it hurt me real bad to watch the old man

Sitting there with his head hanging low

But I knew the pain that he felt

Was more than I could ever know

After an hour or maybe two

The old man realized she was gone to stay

So he got up, looked at the swing

Turned and walked away

Well you know, it’s been two years since I last saw him

And I haven’t heard a thing

But I won’t ever forget the first time

I saw the old man, the child and the swing

© 2021 greg cain


Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 15, 2021:

This was so heart touching my eye's teared up. I love it when you write poetry. More please!

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on January 15, 2021:

Box, what a sad but special poem. I loved it. Thank you for sharing.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on January 14, 2021:

What a touching poem, Greg. Thank you for giving it a home here. Loved every word.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 14, 2021:

You’ve told a lovely and moving story. I’m impressed that you wrote it when you were only fourteen.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 14, 2021:

Absolutely a great write!

So heartfelt and touching.

I can picture & see each part.

So sad.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 14, 2021:

Oh, Box, this is so sad!

You told the story well. The words flow and ooze emotion. Although the old man was left with a broken heart, I was relieved to learn the little girl grew up and moved away. I was afraid she had died.

I hope the little girl thinks of the old man every time she sees a swing.

Beautiful story, my friend!

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on January 14, 2021:

Ah, that's a beautiful poem.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 14, 2021:

What a beautiful, poignant poem, Greg! It brought tears to my eyes too.

That's the trouble when children suddenly leave childhood behind. I see some of it in my grandchildren but only one has flown the coop so far, though of course I haven't lost her like the old man did. We're very close and still greatly enjoy each other's company and have fun.

I'm sure this will touch the hearts of everyone who reads it. You've even captured the pendulum motion of the swing in your verses, also reflecting the to and fro between the old man and the girl - clever!


Liz Westwood from UK on January 14, 2021:

This is a moving and poignant poem. Between the lines it addresses big issues of the aging process, friendship, growing up and moving on.

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