The Old Folks - Poem by C.J. Heck
While sitting on a park bench reading
I overheard a man nearby
talking with his grandson.
The grandson asked why there were
so many old folks in the park every day.
The grandfather told him perhaps they were
just too alone at home to stay there.
Maybe they needed to be with other
old folks where they could share old jokes
or play a game of bocce ball
as they live in the park till dark.
Maybe remembering names
became a game to ignore their pain
and the daily checkers games felt sane.
Maybe to make time fly they antagonize
or criticize, sometimes even acting wise
till twilight comes to bring the night.
Then they wave goodbye,
and God forgives the little white lie...
that they look forward to tomorrow.
Then they go home again
and back into the past, alone.
The grandson nodded.
Then he asked the grampa
how he knew so much.
The grampa was quiet for awhile.
Then he told the boy
when you got to be his age,
there were some things
you just know.
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