He could sit in the park by the hour,
And people-watch all day,
He was thoroughly entertained,
By whoever came his way.
He knew well that old men's talk
Was not always thought worthwhile,
So he seldom spoke to other folks,
Though he might nod or smile.
He fully enjoyed himself,
As he sat and listened and watched,
He loved the roles that people played,
And the live shows that ran non-stop.
He saw dabs and bits of everything,
From comedy to drama,
Romance, burlesque, and tragedy,
Real life panoramas.
Though people were his main attraction
He never got involved,
Unless they became ill-tempered,
And spoke in anger and too loud.
Not that he spoke up and interfered.
No - that was not his style,
He'd merely look at the debaters,
Shake his head and sadly smile.
Often that was just enough
To make them feel ashamed,
Then arm in arm they'd leave the park,
Common sense and peace regained.
With just a funny face,
He could please a juvenile,
Or a wink sometimes was all it took
To hush a crying child.
He felt quite bold one afternoon,
When he took a lady's hand,
So sad she was and tearful,
He hoped she'd understand.
He felt her sorrow, knew her pain,
There were no words to say,
But when she left the park,
Her tears had gone away.
One homeless, hungry soul,
He gave some money to,
No words exchanged between them,
It just seemed the thing to do.
Once he caught a small boy's ball,
And threw it back to him,
What he received as his reward,
Was the world's biggest grin.
He watched the birds that flew above,
And pecked the ground below,
The agile squirrels made him laugh,
As they hurried to and fro.
But people's conversations
Were what he liked the best,
He pretended he was part of them,
Though they never knew or guessed.
So, in silent communication,
The old man spent his days,
Then went home at night, exhausted,
With nothing left to say.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright May 2004