A Forgotten Man Poem by C R Clark

A Forgotten Man

Rating: 3.3

His face was brown and wrinkled
His clothes were old and worn
Sitting on a sidewalk bench
He watched the street as traffic swarmed

He seemed so lonely as he sat there
No one paid him any mind
The only time I saw him smile
Was when he looked down and found a dime

He finally turned to me and said
Young man, do you know the time
I glanced at my watch and told him
Yes sir, it’s half past nine

Well, I’ve still got a couple of hours
Son, ain’t it a pretty day
I’ll just sit here and soak the sun up
Before I mosey on my way

Are you supposed to meet someone, I asked
Oh no, came his reply
Well, sometimes an old friend comes by
We sit and tell each other lies

What kind of lies you tell, I asked
He looked at me and almost grinned
You don’t want to get me started, son
Oh, you’re too young to understand

You look to be about my daughter’s age
She’s married and got two sons
One’s fifteen and the other’s ten
I’ve never seen the youngest one

But, I’ve got his pictures, though, he said
He’s a healthy looking kid
The last one’s I got was five years ago
I s’pose he’s grow’ed a lot since then

I said, you mean it’s been ten years
Since your family’s been to see you
He said, well, more like eleven
But they both work, they’re pretty busy

Still, it would be nice, he said
If I could see them one last time
Doc told me ‘bout a month ago
I don’t have a lot more time

I phoned and told my girl last week
She talked it over with her husband, Dan
They said they’d try to come in June
Now, if I can just hold on till then

It’s not that they don’t want to come
He said, as he looked at me
They’re just so doggone busy, son
It’s hard for them to get time free

As he rambled on, I understood
His need for telling lies
He made excuses for an ungrateful child
Who couldn’t care less if her daddy died

Now, I always, considered myself a man
Some say a man should never cry
But as the old man finished his story
A mist began to fill my eyes

He noticed the tears and said to me
Son, I guess that I was wrong
You’re not too young to understand
I guess age don’t matter none at all

I watched him as he ambled off
He used a cane to make his way
I just noticed in the paper
The old man died yesterday

March 1,1982

Loyd C Taylor Sr 17 February 2009

Hello story teller Richard. This reminded me of one of Tom T Halls famous songs, Old Dogs and Children. It kept my attention and ended on a sad note. Lesson learned and life appreciated. A good read friend. Loyd

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Martin O'Neill 19 January 2009

An inteesting tale, reminiscent of Harry Chapin's Cat's in The Cradle. We fall into excuses and solitude too easily in this world. The real value in life is to be had from our relationships with other people, not material goods.

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Ron Flowers 29 October 2008

Richard, this is wonderful poem. I look forward to reading more of yours. Regards Ron

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Kesav Easwaran 13 July 2008

good narration here... well constructed lines bring out a bitter truth of life

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Thad Wilk 06 July 2008

Lovely poem and story Richard! A forgotten man now he'll not be, he's remembered Now through - (your poetry! !) *10*! ! Best wishes! Friend Thad

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Manthra H 21 December 2014

Very nicely said the truth, yes every one so busy in their work, no time to spend with their loved ones.

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Steve Chris 05 February 2014

splendid poem, it is so touching and pitiful

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Vanessa Hughes 26 July 2011

A billiant poem, it's just made me cry. Nessy x

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Meggie Gultiano 25 July 2009

an excellent write, Richard.My eyes and ears are all glued every words printed here.From the beginning to end..oh well..this is wonderful. More, more, Richard..I love your style.. Hugs, Meggie

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C. P. Sharma 26 February 2009

Wonderfully well told poetic tale with all, agony, pathos and satire about the aged of the day. Superb poetry in simple words with perfect poetic flow. A great poem indeed. CP

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