What to Do About the Old Man's Loneliness | Creative Writing | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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What to Do About the Old Man's Loneliness

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Once there was a houseful of noisy girls,

their squabbling and hair-washing,

stumbling cockeyed up the stairs at night.

They'd catch him standing at the top,

one hand holding up his pajamas,

the other waving the alarm clock,

incontrovertible evidence of their crime.

Do you have any idea what time it is,

he'd ask rhetorically. And they'd stifle giggles

behind each other's backs.

Now they're scattered to other countries

busy with their jobs and children,

their unhappiness. If time was money

he'd be on the pig's back these days

for sure. The noisy relations all gone too

with their cups of tea, the organ recital

of their ailments and afflictions.

Only this enveloping silence, so still

he might not see the wing of a crow

from one day's end to the next.

November and the color all sucked out

as if a drain had opened underground.

Except that out there somewhere

Death is putting on his shoes to take a walk

in this direction. He's in no hurry,

has all the time in the world.

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