Tuesday, September 13, 2011

growing old

he's engaged in normal conversation,
like every visit they share.
they've come regularly since days of bare feet and braids,
since days of excited footsteps pattering on tile.
now they sit,
texting on their phones as he talks to the tops of their heads.
they nod and say the right things,
always leaving him with an emptiness-
he sees his age in their eyes.
they go through the ritual of playing their latest piano pieces,
his most cherished part of their visits...
for as soon as he hears the nocturne on the out-of-tune keys,

he's a dashing young man clad in a starched uniform,
with gleaming war medals clinking as he walks.
the room is filled with respectful eyes
watching him sip a cocktail while conducting business in murmured words.

then, the front doors open,
and she steps in.
heads turn, and he puts down his drink to take in her presence.
her eyes sparkle as she locks a gaze with him.
she crosses the room,
places her warm hand over his,
and smiles.

with her beside him,
his youth could never be taken away...

the nocturne ends.
the children resume their mechanical conversations
until his granddaughter, their mother, picks them up.
as soon as she arrives,
they softly kiss his cheek and rush out the door.
she walks across the room,
sits next to him,
places her warm hand over his,
and smiles.
she has her grandmother's eyes,
he thinks as they sparkle back at him.
and for now,

he feels young again

cross-posted at Shutter Sisters