His World

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He pulls back the curtain
observing the traffic
the passing of strangers

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From the street looking in
he appears as a mannequin
patient statue still
holding back the nets
to allow brightness
to a home that has none

.

Each day after forty minutes
the afternoon snooze
he does the very same thing
he looks
he questions
the world before him is not genuine
unexplained complicated
and moves with alarming swiftness
unfamiliar
best left alone

.

A young girl passing the garden gate
pushing a buggy made for two
her t-shirt like underwear
her bare plump hips hang – soft and wobbly
like fresh dough spilling from her skinny jeans
he shudders
to think there could be many
dressed like her
out there
in the place best avoided

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Thoughts and questions emerge
what he dwells upon most days
of his love in years of youth
not his long departed wife
not the one who cooked and cleaned
birthed and fed and nurtured children
not the one who loved him
for the cantankerous wretched man he was
no – he thought of her
the one who first gave him permission
to discover what a woman really was

.

The long hot summer
lying on the slopping bank by the river
her soft hands
her sweet lips
her little girl waist
soft curls of hair
with the smell of bright spring flowers
kisses so amazing
they never felt the uneven grass beneath
in their minds
they rolled on sumptuous cushions
a bed made for royalty

.

He recalled her clothes
elegant lace gloves
beautiful summer dresses
full and frilly petticoats
and how he tried to unfasten the zip
without her knowing
she had slapped him and scolded
but after
a smile beamed on her face
giggles came from her lips
at his cheekiness and his self conscious blush

.

And when he delivered her home
at the turning of dusk
safe unharmed
still the virgin she was
he was mortified by sceptical stares
the darting eyes of her father
as if the man had tried to extract evidence
coming from a young man’s head
from their time spent alone
that he may have led his daughter
down the forbidden path

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Those were the days
when boys tried
but didn’t always succeed
and she became
the woman they wanted

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In those days families gathered
listening to worn and scratchy records
standing at the piano
singing until their throats were dry

.

Kettles whistled from kitchens
announcing refreshment
and endless steaming tea
gurgled from pots to cups

.

Those were the days
when the roads were not end to end with cars
when no camera ever watched you
when trains pumped out foggy plumes of steam
where jobs were easy come and easy go
and neighbours were never strangers

.

The days when a man could open a doors for women
and be sure they would never mind
when food came from shops
just a few doors away
and vegetables
pulled from the earth
of your very own garden

.

And now those years
a vibrant painting
on the canvas of his mind
of all that was and all he ever knew

.

And the view through the window?
Emotion?
There are none not for today
it’s a film he has no desire to see

.

He lets the net fall
his face vanishes from the window
leaving today to praise itself
it’s in no need of his approval

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Drawing the curtains
he clicks a record to spin
in the comfort of his chair
eyelids droop and close

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And once again
his world is present
the best world
the only real world

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Picture: OLD MAN – Artist Rising

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3 thoughts on “His World

  1. Oh I enjoyed seeing how things in the past were through his eyes. It seemed so simple but full of love for him. Uncomplicated. He did not like the things he saw outside the window…his present day.. But rather chose to relive his world through music and memory. Beautifully written Ms Suzy!! 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂 It feels a long time since I wrote this! I’ve been working on a short story version of this poem, so you may end up seeing this again in a slightly different form, some time this year I hope. I’m sure not everyone experiences this as they age age, but I was thinking of maybe a man who was in his 90’s at least. I do wonder, what on earth must it be like to be that age? So much will have changed, so many people won’t be there. I guess it’s all down to our personalities as to how we cope with that when the time comes. I hope I’m a jolly eccentric bird by that age – probably the best way to cope!! 😉

      1. You are so welcome Ms Suzy!!! I can’t wait to read it. I know it will be beautiful. I wish us all to reach 90 plus years. I bet the future would be something to get a load of. Lol. Yes, Ms Suzy I can imagine you will be even more eccentric. Because you are such a genuine and sweet person. 🙂

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