The Bench

Poet's Notes

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"They truly are jewels," the man muses while sitting
on the park bench. The recipients of his admiration were
not aware of his attention as they hurriedly went about
their cares. Not that it mattered; to him, his approving
gaze was just an acknowledgment of the beauty women
possess, and nothing more.

While still in his thoughts, an old man sits on the
empty side of the bench. His white and bushy eyebrows
accentuate his deeply wrinkled skin.

"He hasn't aged well," judged the younger man.

The old man nods a greeting, which the younger man
returns. For some time silence reigns between the two,
before it is broken by the old man.

"I envy your youth," said the old man in a soft voice,
"the strength and vigor you possess allows you to still
enjoy the delights of these beautiful blooms."

The younger man, surprised to hear the remark, offers
a faint smile and replies, "I'm a one-woman man."

The old man in turn allows a tepid smile to arch his
lips, then postulates, "Admirable, of course. But surely,
the craving for a taste of other sweet fruits does
beckon at your lips occasionally, does it not?"

"My cravings are reserved for only one lovely woman"
answered the younger man. "In my view," he continues,
as he turns to look at the old man, "unrestrained
yearning is just a cavern within the heart, where
selfishness reigns as king. I don't believe happiness
can be truly achieved by selfishly feeding that hunger."

With a soft laugh the old man counters "Perhaps.
Still, what great pleasure can be had while in the
arms of a woman. As such, why would a man limit his
love to just one? After all, the desire to taste
the nectar of many flowers burns within the hearts of
men. Isn't that why you sit on this bench, to admire
and lust after the beautiful women walking about?"

The younger man reflects on those words for a short
moment as the old man examines his countenance.
Then, gazing into the distance, he replies, "A man
is walking in a field of lovely lilies as his eyes
admire the great beauty before him. He pauses for a
moment and selects one lily from among all of the
lilies on that field. He carries that one lily,
enjoying its beauty, its wonderful scent. It is only
that one lily that holds his attention as he walks;
it is only that one lily he touches and caresses."

Now turning his gaze toward the old man, he concludes,
"I have already found my one lily. Yes, I still admire
the beauty of the rest of the lilies before me, but
only one has captured and holds my attention."

Undeterred, the old man retorts in a pleading voice,
"It seems truly sad and even wrong to shut out the
desires of your heart. Life is short, and you have
but just one to live."

The younger man stares at the old man and replies,
"The Good Book warns that the heart is 'treacherous
and desperate.' I heed those words, for the heart can
indeed lead a man astray. Still, it is also capable of
loyal love. It is that love that will guard the gates
of the heart."

With that, the younger man stands and bids the old man
a goodbye, then journeys back home to his one true love.

In a whispering growl the old man declares, "this battle
you have won, but countless have been my victories from
this bench; tomorrow is another day... yet another day."

The old man stands and sternly glares in the direction
of the younger man, then disappears in a mist of acrid
smoke, a red tail trailing behind.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 3/29/2018 9:45:00 AM
A beautiful poem on a man's sacred love that emphasizes the absence of a roving eye. Excellent! A truly enjoyable read.
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Angel Villanueva
Date: 3/29/2018 10:08:00 AM
Thank you for your kind and lovely expression, Tamara. I appreciate it.