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Old Man

Updated on May 26, 2011

I prod you away with a staff
That you block surreptitiously
With a dismissive palm
Defeating me with your
Superior decades

I am repelled by your
Acquiescence to gravity
Your body’s complicity
With the downward drag
Time’s sandbags

You stalk me
A shambling monkey
In my peripheral
Always there
My enemy

I put up walls
Great walls of stone and brick
To keep you out
You laugh as you walk
Through them

I hide you
In loose clothing
Long sleeves and trousers
My writing

But you never leave
You know your advantage
You know I cannot escape
You know my resistance
Is an illusion

You smile
Missing some teeth
Your skin wrinkled with use
You are a loose bag of flesh
Awaiting death

You smile
For you know
I cannot resist you

I know
I cannot resist you
Someday soon I will be you
I must embrace you
Love you
As I love me


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    • profile image

      jami l. pereira 

      8 years ago

      My emotion ran thick in this! amazing once more! thank you for sharing this fantastic read!voted up awesome and beautiful !

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      8 years ago from United States

      The physical existence is all about time and space. The only thing constant about it is change.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      Beautiful imagery, Tom! 'Time's sandbags' - so apt!

    • SilentReed profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      We should learn to grow old gracefully."There is only one solution if old age is not to be an absurd parody of our former life,and that is to go on pursuing ends that give our existence meaning - Devotion to individuals, to groups or to causes,social, political, intellectual or creative work - One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love,friendship,indignation,compassion".. - Simone De Beauvoir, and as Frank Sinatra sang "I did it my way"

    • marlanasifter profile image


      8 years ago from Sanford, NC, USA

      "A shambling monkey / in my peripheral." :)Hahaha...I love that.

    • Patricia Costanzo profile image

      Patricia Costanzo 

      8 years ago from Behind the Redwood Curtain

      I don't know Mr. Turner, given your avatar, I'd say you aren't aging much at all!

    • profile image

      Doug Turner Jr. 

      8 years ago

      I like Patricia's idea of holding on to a childlike mindset, but the body ages as surely as trees in the forest.

      Vivid personification here. I could picture the wizened old fellow who follows and eventually catches up to assume the form of the once young man.

    • Patricia Costanzo profile image

      Patricia Costanzo 

      8 years ago from Behind the Redwood Curtain

      What if we don't want to embrace it? What if instead we hold the image of a child in mind instead? What if age is so, only because we believe it to be?

    • chspublish profile image


      8 years ago from Ireland

      That's so beautiful Tom - the mix of the awful and aweful. So revealing - thank you.

    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Fantastic poem which gave me and idea to write about my dad, maybe, if I don't change my mind. I am atrocious about when it comes to self editing my ideas. GBY. Neat hub.

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 

      8 years ago from Orange County, California

      "Time waits for no man.." I really love this piece and it's beautifully written expression of the inevitable.


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