I’ve enjoyed writing for many years. I'm dedicating more time to it in retirement.
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 Queensland Australia 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.
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.