An Old Woman’s Memories of Her Father

the old woman sits on the park bench, alone
with her memories

most vivid, those from long ago
like in 1936, her father teaching her to drive

she still sees the dark gray ‘32 ford cabriolet
smells the black leather seats
and hears the sputtering sound of the engine
as the car climbs the steep hill near their house

fighting the tears, she remembers the ford
sitting in the garage, untouched for 3 months
after her father went off to the war
he never returned from

she still sees the chair, at the head of the table
where her father sat, empty
long after her mother died

now, she sits alone, remembering
small parts of her life, just before
darkness falls on the park bench
and death removes all memories

When a Man Grows Old

he wonders where his life has gone
with so little of himself left to get up in the mornings

the playful boy has a new home
and now walks the banks of the river
skipping stones with other boys

the young builder puts away his tools
to watch other young men build things

the wise gray-haired gentleman
living to counsel others
forgets more than he remembers
and concentrates on not spilling his morning coffee

the old man, living all week for a sunday walk
just sits in his chair, watching birds on the feeder
thinking of all that has been
wondering why autumn leaves surrender to the winter snow