The Retired Man


Dare – I open the drape –
Oh yes – light –
excites me – as you lay at
peace, sleeping.
Sleeping – extending night.

I close the drape – leave –
to run along a shore where
toes are kissed by white
lace – where salt water shifts
shells or swallows them for
another day – in and

Here – I listen – I smell sea
air – feel the dampness on my
face – while you sleep as if
you were a retired man
from the red and white motel –

but – he too awakes as sunlight
changes the color of the sky to
a sudden pink horizon. . .
He walks around his property
and sweeps cigarette butts
off a faded – chipped –
redwood deck – his feet
shuffle in morning light.

How gentle are the waves, as
sea gulls play – as if
attached to strings – begging.

The old man – he must have
planned this day, as once a
dream, attending to his

To be here, to be sitting –
resting – closer to me –
Closer to where my feet play –
and sink in sand –

The retired man stares at dawn
as a smile lines his face, the
coming of a new day. Perhaps –
remembering yesterday – when
his red and white motel was
filled with company

his bald head – tanned – pants
rolled above his knees, a pot
belly rests –
on his thighs. . .
His eye’s. . . see more than you
who sleeps extending night.

He tosses yesterdays
garbage – inside a brown
paper bag, resting at his feet –
scatters it across
a brilliant sky –

Sea gulls flock – flap to
applaud – kiss his hand.
The retired man, he knows when
day is day, and sleeps at night
when sea gulls fade.

  1. J.I. Kendall says

    Lovely…emotive…in my head, I’m continuing his story. Thanks, Nancy.

  2. Nancy Duci Denofio says

    J.J. yes, a story that continues forever but is so familiar in many ways. Dreams once were, but ended too soon. Sincerely, Nancy

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