Grayish in Color and Hung Askew

He said he’d retire in a year’s time,

By the middle of the summer

His health began to decline,

Cancer cells were on the attack,

He coughed in fits,

A deep, rasping hack,

Then the fever hits,

He was weak and it would show,

Life was lingering and slow,

He just felt like the living dead,

Every morning he found it difficult

To simply get out of bed,

The whites of his eyes

Were stained red,

He was always exhausted

No matter how much he slept,

His family would not complain

As they just quietly wept,

But he felt guilty just the same,

Looking into his wife’s eyes,

And forgetting her name,

His skin was pale,

And he was so weak and frail,

So he’d clean up less and less,

His bedroom was a blackened mess,

The photos of his family had vibrant colors

That was still peeking through,

But his memories were charred,

Grayish in color and hung askew.

© 2013 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 54 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Such a sad way to go.

Up, Awesome and sharing.


Ghaelach 3 years ago

Hi Frank.

A very sad poem and a future that will hit most of us in the end.

Voted up and sharing.

LOL Ghaelach


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Oh Frank.. that was my mom.. I am crying.. thank you for sharing.. I was living through your poem..

blessings

Debbie


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Sad write Frank--but you nailed it--left me with a clear picture--


Valleypoet 3 years ago

A very vivid depiction of a man's declining health, and the sadness that surrounds it...there is an extra sadness to this as he is struggling to reach retirement, and he may not make it...great work Frank:-))


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Great hub Frank, and sad too.

I worked with a man who looked forward so much to reaching retirement age. Though diabetic, he did not follow a proper diet, was stressed about his job constantly, and did not trust his docs. He was almost sixty-five when he died of a heart attack at home in December 2012.

I am in great health, but the stress there was a killer, am glad to be gone.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Oh, my goodness Frank,

This is writing at its very best. Superb. Wow, I could feel the pain and suffering of all . . . and the view of life from his perspective is written so vividly . . . that very dim and graying of a life that is dying.

Voted way up ++++ and sharing

God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Justasksusan and Ghaelach.. and thank you too Our Ms Brooks Audrey, and Valleypoet for your comments :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you X-man and Faith bless you guys :)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Guess we have all witnessed this at some time...you brought it out. Great write.


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

You have spoken the truth; the sadness and captured it. Very well written.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Wandering down your path of sadness was magical. Congratulations and thank you


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

An emotional journey. This is one of the worst things that a family can have to go through and it leaves many scars. You brought out all the pain and frustration.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles

Superb imagery!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much for reading Jackie, Mhatter, Gypsy, Anna and Cat


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, a sad and lonely way to end a life, but unfortunately, also very real for many.

Great job, awesome writing.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

It is difficult to watch a dying man/woman. And very sad to comprehend how he feels.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Some see it in different colors, but is the experience all must face. We share the joys and sometimes we have to be bold enough to share the sorrows. Thank you, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much tobusiness Vin and Ms Dora for stopping by :)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

But he felt guilty just the same,

Looking into his wife’s eyes,

And forgetting her name,

So sad but also shows your talent at its best. Wonderful frank and here's to many many more . Have a wonderful day.

Eddy.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

It's hard to know what to say about this one except to say what you meant to get across came across strong and was felt deeply. Impressive, Frank; but that's not an unusual impression coming from your creative powers.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Eddy and thank you so much Alastar bless you both :)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Frank this is awesome and you've managed to get deep down into the imagery and sensations of death itself. Yet this has a beauty as well as a sadness!! I loved this poem!!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

aaawww thank you so much Seeker


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

You painted a very good picture through the use of imagery. voting up!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much love doc :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

That's how I want to go Frank so you can write about me and make it a true story.

You are still, and forever will be, one of my favorite writers , Sir Frank.

You always rock the halls of the Hub in such a hall of fame way.

lake erie time 2:11pm


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

sad way to go epi :) bless you


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Frank - This was quite different because I kept waiting for the crime or the discovery of the victim. (guess I should not pigeon-hole your work.) Very good dark and descriptive imagery. Theresa


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

gosh...it is so sad. Wishing him peace though!

Great write up, Frank


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Ruch :) and you too Phdast


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Just read this again Frank. Such a moving poem, such striking images. Well worth reading again. Hope all is well with you. Theresa


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks again Phdast 7 bless you


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

You have captured the pain and suffering here Frank. Each line of this poem is filled with emotion.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 3 years ago from Close to Heaven

Wow. Great writing as always Frank. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Caroline, and you too Til bless you guys :)


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Great vignette. It's so tragic that many people work hard their whole lives, dreaming of a retirement they may not get to enjoy. I thought the imagery in the last section was amazing:

"His bedroom was a blackened mess,

The photos of his family had vibrant colors

That was still peeking through,

But his memories were charred,

Grayish in color and hung askew."

Wow.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much for stopping by MrsBrownParlour :)


SkySlave profile image

SkySlave 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I love the raw emotion in this poem. Very well written!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you skyslave :)


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Ohhh! the poor guy. This poem sure reflects how it is for so many people. Very well-written and emotional, Frank.

Up,A,I and H+


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you my dear friend Phyllis


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Your talents are endless. No matter what subject you choose to write about or how you choose to do it, it not only comes out right but it draws us in.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Oh my Frank--hadn't read this in a while--so very sad!


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

Charred memories, great line.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

There are surely times when life is "askew." One nice thing about mortality is that such sufferings were never intended to be endless, though at times it can feel as if they are. Remembering that we set a standard for those who follow after us, we endure.


taiwokareem profile image

taiwokareem 2 years ago from Salford

this is a lovely poem even though it paints a sad picture of a cancer victim. One of my fav teacher once had cancer and i always worried day and night about him. Thank God he is okay now even though he no longer teaches me again


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Til and Audrey thank you so much for visiting


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Deal and Perspycacious for visiting my page :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you taiwokareem for checking out my poem


taiwokareem profile image

taiwokareem 2 years ago from Salford

you are welcome frank


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 18 months ago from Shelton Author

and thank you again Taiwokareem :)


Vellur profile image

Vellur 18 months ago from Dubai

Sad and heart rending, it is sad to watch helplessly without being able to help the person who is suffering. Great write.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 18 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Vellur

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