Colin F. Jones


We are the sorrow in our daughters’ eyes;
Brief wisdom tires of its shortened lease.
Our mind our beauty that now slowly dies,
Seeks out the darkness of eternal peace.
Like a flea that dines on the scratching dog,
The pains of age are relevant to our state,
From spawn to newt we assemble as the frog
Then venture on towards our final fate.
We will be missed, as we for our own still cry,
We loved them true as our own children do,
Who will be sad to see us fade and die,
Then in their turn all these same things accrue.
Before death comes, we’ll seek to end regret,
Then we will die, leaving nothing to forget.

What were we then before this dim decline,
When we were young and vibrant; sometimes free?
Who were we when we wasted passing time,
If wasting time was pursuing what we might be.
We sang our songs in manipulated vogue,
And played our sports as though we waged a war,
We wore our ties yet often played the rogue,
And fashioned our own images from what we saw.
Yet some of us were called to meet a foe,
We knew not that we had, thus could not hate,
That soon enough to a foreign shore we’d go,
There to lose our youth or the greater fate,
Death or damage, one to yet unfold,
For some things, we would learn, with us grow old.

The value of life reduced with time and tear,
‘Twas but an instant that took sweet life away,
A soldier stood his ground one moment there,
But then was gone by chance that came his way.
Yet we survived, we who now grow old,
With all the memories of those past events
Bleeding in our minds where memories mould,
Form to cast the images of our torments.
For none can serve and not from it recall,
The special moments when true friendships formed,
Nor those harsh moments when the shells did fall,
And the demons crept beneath our guard and stormed,
The inner sanctuaries where they dormant lay,
Until in frailer bodies they came out to play.

Well trained we were, our skills were fine and fierce,
The hardness of our bodies matched our minds,
But the swords of trauma in the shadows pierce
Vulnerable pathways that the persistent Demon finds.
None understood; we fought for those who failed,
To welcome us back to the world of peace,
Unprepared we found ourselves impaled,
That in our hearts the traumas still increase.
Some lost their way and fell to drug and booze,
Some died alone loveless and denied,
Most made it through but most had naught to lose,
Except their loved ones whom their problems tried.
Some got to be old veterans just like me,
Writing poems that few will ever see.

This poem inspired the response, “Some Got Old (A Response)” ©Copyright October 9, 2008 by Danielle N. Calhoun