Forgotten (Acrostic)

Forced into uselessness

Our society deems them a nuisance

Retiring them to the annals of history

Gone are the days they were revered

Only a culture of arrogance would discard their wisdom

Trusting instead in the coldness of technology

This is our way, leaving them out in the cold

Entombing them before their time

Never seeing beyond the length of their years

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

How Fragile The Body Is

How fragile the body is,

Abused in youth…

Cigarettes, whiskey and lust.

No worries,

It will last forever…

Agile and strong.

Foolish we are in our early years

Believing we are invincible.

Then suddenly we awaken,

Backs ache,

Knees crack,

Eyesight weakens;

Who is this elder in the mirror?

Perhaps the best we can do is to live well,

Saving a piece of this body for old age.

The day the first pains arrive

Is the day we finally realize

…We aren’t immortal.

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

Outside

Outside–

You see a face,

Weathered, showing the wear of time,

Wrinkles carved like dry rivers

Affixing character to a once youthful landscape.

~

Soft skin hands, wipe the sweat from the brow,

Long since retired from hard work,

Thin and gnarled,

They are more bone than flesh,

Still their past loveliness remains.

~

Hunched, from the years

And back breaking work

It’s a struggle just to stand up,

Yet there is nary a complaint uttered

Thankful just to have lived.

~

“Come with me”, said in whispered tone,

Taking a frail trembling arm in compliance,

Photographs yellowed, faded show glorious youth,

Beauty, fifty years past gleams brightly in your eyes

Though the blue is less brilliant.

~

“This was me”, as if unrecognizable

Pointing with an arthritic finger

Leading to story upon story.

“You see a face…”, spoken with a smile,

“But I am so much more…”

~

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Elder Embrace

By D. R. DiFrancesco

~~~~~~

Black hair gone thin and gray

Creases like dry riverbeds map the landscape

Winding effortlessly south

Either due to age or gravity or both

Dark olive skin, soft tautness lost to the years

Tired eyes struggle to catch the light of day

Once clear as crystals now foggy and uncertain

Reminiscent of the mist that envelops San Diego Bay

Memories of youthful virility invoked smiles and stories

Tales etched with vivid language

Language and reference not correct in todays world

Friends and acquaintances identified by race, creed and color

Shocked and amazed erupting in uncomfortable laughter

A likely product of the prejudice thrown at your feet

First breath drawn at the turn of the last century

Born of a race not so easily accepted

Unkind names and slurs labeling an entire lineage

Times had changed leaving you behind

Floundering as if in seizure

Living in an era that was foreign

Still there was no shame, no offense or ill intention

No defense levied for your words and actions

None was needed, none was desired

Age and time granted societal clemency

Few were left who lived the history

Fewer still survive to remember

Relegation to the page is approaching with haste

Embrace them while the opportunity affords

Cherish the time shared and knowledge imparted

Passing it down to the generations that follow

The Walk

Meandering as if in a dream I pondered..,

Cracks in sidewalks,

Separated like so many loves,

Askew from the tempestuousness of life,

Weeds poisoning their once sturdy frames,

Concrete strewn about like Mayan ruins,

Overgrown and forgotten, buried over time,

Crabgrass claiming their souls,

Once virginal, pristine, blinding in their starkness,

Now greyed and weathered, crumbling with age,

Discarded as trash,

The pieces left for someone else to pick up.

Awakened, with tears in my eyes I realized…,

We are not so unlike the lowly sidewalk.

We have left our elders trampled, aging and broken,

Put in the care of strangers,

Forgotten and buried in time.

Be it the mason or our maker,

This is not what they envisioned,

Abandonment and neglect of their masterpiece.

Old Man in the Mirror – (A Poem)

Time humbles the man,

Back arching under the weight of a lifetime,

Old photographs,

A reminder of good friends and loves that long ago passed.

 

The mind drifts,

Not as sharp or quick witted as it once was,

Long gone memories much fresher than today,

Then again, yesterday fits me much better.

 

Hair gone white,

Deep creases travel like dry river beds across my face,

Skin soft and sagging,

Looking in the mirror I can scarcely recognize myself.

 

Who is that old man staring back at me?

Drawn and tired,

Teeth yellowed, eyelids hanging like cheap suits,

I know it’s me inside this costume.

 

The crumbling exterior,

A vessel for a lifetime of wisdom and experience.

Earned through pain, suffering, love, and joy,

A gift wasted on the young.

 

None of this would I trade for the impetuousness of youth,

Born of  blood sweat, and tears,

Etched in my face as a reminder,

A badge to be worn with honor.