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The Aged Man

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Below is the poem entitled The Aged Man which was written by poet Chuck Keys. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Aged Man

The Aged Man
                            Authored by Chuck Keys

There is a sadness inside of him,
Draped by layers of heartaches and disappointments,
Insulated with his long beard, thickly white eye brows, 
Unkempt brushy long dense white hair, 
Dry peeling cracked lips, slightly ajar, 
Showing his smoke stained chipped teeth,
Wearing a dark, soiled, bulky long scruffy ankle length coat, 
Two buttons were missing, 
With a 2" uneven tear at the bottom of its left side stained pocket,
A dirty powder-blue weathered wool and leather hat, with ear flaps down,
It was a long cold night, in mid-January, the month of his birth. 
He moves like a man covered with fear and age, and maybe hunger too.

Mornings and evenings are but doorways 
In and out of his leftover forgotten soul,
To the long endless days and nights, forlorn and grey.
He meanders about with a slow cautious gait, head down often times,
Eyes more closed than open, squinting even in the dark unlit night,
Torn gloved hands (with a large irregular frayed hole in the palm of the left),
Each hand fisted tightly for warmth,
Arms tightly at his side, stationary, not swaying, 
Protectively wrapping himself inside,
Or just holding himself, maybe for warmth or some unexplained reason.
His life is full, the years buried deep inside.

The pounding aches inside, remembers his early years, 
Ages ago, wrapped and protected inside his large family,
But never a part of it, not inside, 
Always outside searching, for what can't be found, ever.
His own family that slowly left him was remembered,
Material children today, groundless at best,
That have no memory of what was, 
Only what is or what will be.
Grandchildren that lacked life inside his hug.

The pounding aches inside; smirks, sometimes,
Knowing time and space, loving and giving, peace,
Remedy for all that ails.
He knows only what he knows,
He loved, loves and will always love.
Even alone, he is in joy, at peace. 

The old man walked into his last mile, a short while ago,
His slow cautious gait, one small step after another, and another,
As the gates opened, he turned and looked behind,
Frowned and smiled, 
With nothing left to say.

Copyright © Chuck Keys

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  1. Date: 6/11/2012 5:11:00 AM
    This is great... I really enjoyed it. Nice to get such a blessing in such a beautiful monday afternoon.

  1. Date: 3/26/2011 10:31:00 PM
    congrats for your two poems in the finals, Chuck!

  1. Date: 1/4/2011 6:22:00 PM
    Congratualtions, Chuck on your "featured poem" it is absolutely brilliant and amazing to read ~~

  1. Date: 1/3/2011 10:24:00 PM
    Deja vu. I read this piece and it brought to mind a poem I wrote as a teen called "The Old Woman". I'll have to dig that out now and rework it. This was very good!

  1. Date: 1/3/2011 5:47:00 AM
    Congratulations on your poetry being featured this week Chuck. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 1/2/2011 3:55:00 PM
    Congrats Chuck on your featured poem this week on the Soup.. a wonderful one to share with us all my friend with luv.. wishing u a very Happy New Year ...

  1. Date: 9/19/2010 6:33:00 PM
    This Is poetry with great story and depth. I love it. Thanks.

  1. Date: 9/19/2010 1:59:00 PM
    HELLO~ CHUCK ~ENJOYED YOUR ~ EXPRESSIONS FOUND IN YOUR POEM~He HE HE! Here I find myself all over the soup again. Stopping by to read more poems, before my KIDS make me log out. I had a really nice time reading and catching up with you guys. I posted a sad poem as well, hope you find time to read my latest poem*luv~SKAT

  1. Date: 9/18/2010 10:45:00 AM
    Thanks on your comments on my poem Search not the happiness. There is another similar to what you quoted. " Gods never travel alone"

  1. Date: 9/13/2010 10:40:00 AM
    Fantastic piece of writing, Chuck. Here wa a man at peace with himself, no longer living according to the dictates of this world..beautiful and goes to my favs. Thanks for the kind comments and please feel free to use my poem when you need to. Peace, Audrey

  1. Date: 9/13/2010 7:47:00 AM
    Super write. You forgot the brown paper bag with the neck of a whiskey bottle sticking out the top. Hey! I've know a couple of guys like the one you describe, was almost one myself. Thanks to an act of self-preservation, I am now 81 years old. Love, Dave

  1. Date: 9/12/2010 3:09:00 PM
    Having no children, I have always feared I would share the same fate as this old man, walking the last mile alone. This reads like my own bio would had I ever written one, Chuck. Wow, did you score high with this compelling poem! There are probably many people like "The Aged Man." Lucky he was to have loved and to still feel peace and joy though he lives alone. He should be my role model. AWESOME! Love, Carolyn

  1. Date: 9/12/2010 2:07:00 PM
    I am glade that you added the next to last stanza especially the last line of that stanza..I was really feeling sorry for the man then that line says that he has it together..Glad that I chose this one to read today..Sara

  1. Date: 9/11/2010 5:58:00 PM
    Creative and interesting story of the Aged man nicely penned, Chuck

  1. Date: 9/11/2010 10:19:00 AM
    I don't want to be old. He died, huh. "The old man walked into his last mile" I like that line. "Mornings and evenings are but an out of his leftover forgotten soul". He was definitely ready to go, although he wishes he could've done better. The whole of life is but a moment of time. It is our duty, therefore to use it, not to misuse it. --Plutarch

  1. Date: 9/11/2010 10:01:00 AM
    deep write and thougts to this write, enjoyed this one..P.D.