old man walking across weedy field

Old man out here

To step by deliberate step make your way
across the weedy field, once tended, toward
a thick foundation holding up air, where
once had been the stout milking barn,
enormous then useless,

while half way ’round our oblong sphere
that from far away looks like a
Christmas tree ornament,
they’re cleaning and dressing
each other, inside and out,
heart, body and soul, after
what some say was hatred and others
madness and others
faith but what may simply have been
not enough being noticed,
not enough getting a reaction.
Not enough seeming to matter.

Well, he matters now. And where did he
learn that—that mattering matters most?
Let’s hope not from the truly important,
the ones who decide,
the ones who get closer and closer
to being the one who decides; not, let’s hope,
from the smart, the wealthy,
the proud, the few;
not, let’s keep hoping, from the talented darlings
whose trillions of clicks
float their pedestals
higher and higher.

Let’s hope they, we, haven’t made it
the highest achievement to
teach someone it’s important
to matter—
never mind if you’re acting in or singing to or
running for or stumping across;
never mind what you do, what you say, whom you
As long as you matter.
Because if all that matters is to matter, then
smearing blood over the dance floor places
the wide riveted world in
the cold dead palm of your hand.

And then we’ve lost, all but the old
forgotten of us, our taste for the
noble worth of shambling across
the weedy field.

©2016 J. Christy Wareham
The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

old man walking across weedy field

One thought on “Old man out here

  1. rickniel says:

    Love the picture, the opening stanza, the closings couple of stanzas, and like all the rest. Cannot help hearing Dylan Thomas’s gravely bass voice chanting “And death shall have no dominion!” While reading this meditation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s