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The Retired Man

The Retired Man

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
seagulls 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 –

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

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