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A Nice Old Couple - a poem

Updated on May 19, 2012

In the evenings they would sit together

he to the side of the fire

long slicing shadows obscuring

one side of his thin face,

a partial mask to her

chair facing the fire directly

her face down, always


her grey hairline serving as a mouth

protesting. . .what?

(she was sure she was protesting but

she could never remember what) .

It had been this way for so long

they seemed to themselves like

actors in a play without end that

refused scenes and acts and

other kinds of form,


it was the mere truth of . . .

to be continued. . .. . .to be continued .

And so each night he read of economics and

wars and rising lowering stocks and bonds

with his polished glasses on his

half-face in the fire light .

She dreamt of wispy faeries dancing

with leering satyrs

on black silk sheets moist

from the last hour -

and she was sure

he could hear the violence of the

consuming blush next to him

by the fire .

When it happened

people were in shock. . .how could they?

. . .they were so nice!. . .my God !. . .

why. . .? my God ! and . . . my God !

As they shook their heads,

a drifting moon slid behind a cloud

a dog’s bark hung in an empty lane

an owl hooted softly in the walnut grove

by the river .

© robert cook


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    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Ha Ha Ha - Two eyes of one person. But I have been told that I have eye's in the back of my head as well.

    • moonfroth profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Cook 

      6 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Shining - your last sentence is very much in MY particular ballpark at the time of writing, but I think the text opens up a lot of other interesting possibilities too. Thanks again. And---are the shining "Eyes" two eyes of one person or the collective eyes of two persons?

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      moonfroth - This was a very creative poem. Everyone reading it imagines something different and that is a true testament to wonderfully creative poetry. Your's draws the reader in and this one left me wanting more. I imagine they were tired of waiting and hurried the next faze of their journey along.

      Voting it up

    • moonfroth profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Cook 

      6 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Thanks Lily

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 

      6 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Ah, now, that is POETRY!!!!! wonderful!!!!! Love yaz, Keep it going!!! love yaz, lily

    • moonfroth profile imageAUTHOR

      Clark Cook 

      6 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Diogenes, Cynthia. dmop (welcome!)-I thank all of you for very rich, and different, bearings on this poem. I thought when I wrote it that it might lend itself to multiple levels of meaning, and I'm pleased that that would seem to be the case.

    • dmop profile image


      6 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      How could they; to be continued; and then cancel the season. It would seem that they were tired of waiting for the next chapter to be written so they wrote it themselves. Voted up, beautiful, and interesting.

    • cynthtggt profile image

      Cynthia Taggart 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      So sensitive and loving a poem. Endearing too to read about the love we hold in silence and take with us in memories and quiet moments. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. I voted up and beautiful.

    • diogenes profile image


      6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Keen insight...a bit near the bone for us, but...

      Better a rest than more suffering I guess.

      Really haunting inmagery..



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