When I’m old and gray,
An over-inflated ball stuffed inside my shirt and pockets under my chin,
Can I count on you
To ride the subway with me,
Chatting in our native language
Scratching ourselves and spitting to others’ utter chagrin,
Will you accompany me to appointments
I could handle over the phone
Offer sweets to some children
And grimace at others –
A lottery decided only by our whim,
Will you promise not to die a young man,
Do you promise not to leave me alone
If I have to take the train without you,
I just might never leave home.
But, oh, the adventures we could have together
The places we could get into for half-price or free
I have a map and a bucket list with push-pins to mark it.
In thirty years or so, you’ll see.
This poem was written in response to this week’s Write or Die prompt, Loneliness. I saw these two men on the train and I just wondered how lonely either of them might have been if their friend hadn’t survived for them to share this part of their lives together. That must be what real loneliness is – when the people who’ve known you all your life and shared your memories with, are gone.
Be nice to an older person today! You never know what they are dealing with.
Shared with Amanda