Intrusion Upon a Neighbor
A Poem About Aging
I look out through the dark night
Into the vibrantly cool
Late summer air
Across the yards of our personal lives
Onto his naked back.
Aged skin is stretched
Taut across his shoulders which
Having borne years of responsibility
His hands are gnarled and thick.
Alone now, he plays solitaire at
His kitchen table
Seemingly left alone by all
Except for the light above his head
Which spotlights his torso and his
Hope for future years.
He knows his light burns
A bit more every day.
I turn my eyes away
To avoid further intrusion into
His fading world.
My soul aches with recognition of the
Shuffling of the cards.
This poem was written one night when I was a teenager and I happened to look into my neighbor's window from our dining room (yes, our house were that close together when I was growing up!) and saw our elderly neighbor sitting in his dining room, playing cards all by himself. Although he was married, his wife was not visible to me through the window. He looked so lonely I just had to write about it.