The small boy falls and hurts his elbow and his knees,
and quietly cries on the inside,
because there is no one there to feel his pain,
or give him comfort,
for the small boy is 86 years old.
His skin is wrinkled and his bones are frail,
but the 'small boy' in him still lives with the same wonders,
fears and insecurities,
that age alone will never erase.
He picks himself up off the floor and stumbles to his easy-chair,
nursing a bruised arm and scraped knees,
then, closing his eyes,
he dreams of simpler times.
Through teen-aged eyes,
he watches the young girls walk down the street,
talking and giggling,
with their long hair swaying,
and their hips swinging,
causing the swirling of their skirts
to show off their tanned, trimmed legs.
He remembers the days when he loved to keep their company,
and flirt with them as they teased in return.
He found them to be fascinating,
more interesting than being with the guys,
who only knew how to discuss cars, sports,
and, of course, girls,
but mostly in an unflattering and disrespectful way.
He had never had any trouble speaking with these lovely creatures,
until the day when a very special one caught his attention,
and he knew he was in love.
He remembers suddenly becoming speechless,
flinching when she glanced his way,
unable to look in her eyes,
and feeling a hot flush when she caught him staring.
He remembers shyly approaching her,
and the relief and excitement he felt when she responded.
Then there were the long walks,
and even longer talks,
as they held hands,
and were eventually entwined in passion.
He is old now,
and can only admire these angels from afar,
through eyes that never age.
He is a harmless old man,
but he can no longer approach them,
nor listen to their cheerful banter,
or admire their beauty up close,
or smell the fragrance of their perfume,
as it drifts through the air.
He sees himself through eyes of reason,
with trembling hands and shuffling feet,
isolated from his surroundings,
as people pass by,
unaware of his presence.
Yet, while his mind retraces the past,
remembering skinned knees and pretty girls,
a smile passes his lips.
by David Ronald Bruce Pekrul
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