Faye Sizemore

OLD MAN SITTING ALONE

The old man sat head bowed in the morning sun
I passed him every day when I took my daily run
He never looked up as I went running past
Just kept his head bowed not a glance was cast

Fall became winter and winter spring,
Still he sat silent as my footfalls would ring
The stone bench where he sat was shadowed by trees
I knew he came there every morning to take his ease

I began to look for him every morning on my jaunt
Some days I’d wave but he always answered naught
Never looking up or ever in any way acknowledging me
He’d sit there just as silent as the big shady tree

One time running late as past the bench I came
A young woman was there with the old man
I saw that she was sitting close beside him
And tenderly she was holding his hand

After introducing myself and chatting there
I learned he was her father and now in her care
He had been wounded in the war and was paralyzed
This was why he didn’t speak or wave now I realized

She would bring him in his wheelchair and place him here
For an hour she would let him sit in a place that was dear
Her parents would sit on this bench and plan dreams so grand
Years ago before her father went away to fight in a foreign land

She told me her mother would sit here alone
Dreaming of how it would be when he came home
Now he likes to sit here on their bench on his own
Where his dear darling waited while he was gone

His wife and her mother has now gone on before
Here’s where she prayed for an end to the war
He liked to come and sit on the bench here
Because he could feel his one true love near

A salute it’s going to be from today on
As I pass him each morning on the bench alone
I know he’s deserving of more than just a wave
He’s one of the defenders of the home of the brave.