The old man plodded through the rain
grim sternness imprinted on his face.
His pate, a runway for heavy thoughts
that landed heavily between unkempt tufts
and settled upon a deep ploughed brow.
Between bowed shoulder blades
hung an overfilled pack,
a metaphor for his crowded mind,
and unstockinged feet
squelched noisily in sodden sandals,
pacing out each mile.
He didn’t care for buses or cars,
didn’t own a bike or cart,
didn’t want others' company,
just kept his own and struggled with that.
It was easier to be grim and cold,
it was simpler to reject his fellow men,
it suited his purpose to find easy blame,
to find a cause to rant and rage;
to avoid what was plain as the pain on his face.
His daughters had left him,
he’d repeat to himself;
his friends were all false,
he’d shout at the wind;
his wife never loved him,
he’d murmur within;
the proof was his solitude,
his numb frozen heart,
he’d been always alone,
right from the start.
It wasn’t his doing that shut everyone out,
he wasn’t to blame for the damage he’d done,
it was his unjust destiny that destroyed every friendship
he’d just been a victim of Fortune’s cruel jest,
better to claim this than admit all the rest.
The fine misty rain hit at his face
and streams of water ran from his eyes.
He licked the brine that caught in his lips
and suddenly gasped when he realised
after forty years of being a stone, he was crying.