Wasted Years

Written by: Nick Ruff

Within the quiet morning hours,
Beneath the ticking of the clock,
An old man whiled away the time,
And reminisced of days forgot

His face was worn from many years,
Although his eyes seemed still unchanged;
Like leather were his heavy hands,
Wrapped tight about his gnarled cane

A fire roared inside the hearth,
Though from his window snow fell fast;
‘Too fast to shovel now’, he thought,
As he peered through the speckled glass

And with the thought there came a fear,
For he knew there was no one home
To aid him when the snow appeared
Too deep to venture on his own

‘Soon there won’t be a soul in sight,
Save but for mine, though I’ll go too
And meet the endless sea of white,
Lest my own house becomes my tomb’

But as the old man tried to stand,
He found his strength begin to wane;
He fiercely pushed with both his hands,
But could not rise to meet his cane

In panic now, he cursed aloud
For all the years he’s sat and slept
Upon the chair that kept him down,
For now it pained him ‘til he wept

The fire below began to die,
As embers glowed and turned to black,
While outside snow began to rise,
Now filling every nook and crack

‘It isn’t fair!’ the old man cried,
As he tried desperately to stand;
An idle life of sitting by
Had finally caught up to him

‘I should have left when I still could;
I should have overcome my fear;
But now no gentle hand will ease
The passing of my spirit here’

Thus, as the morning hours grew late,
His labored groans grew faint and stopped;
His feeble home encased in snow,
Beneath the ticking of the clock.