by Michael Yaworsky
A sage old man sits looking, seeing reading under shaded tree of life and print he looks past / through / beyond / and into written word and, raising eyebrows comically o’er spectacles on wrinkled cheeks he scans obituaries buried hid between the garish ads as, open wide, his eyes drink up the ciphers laying bare souls / lives of friends and lovers, soulmates all to slip beneath the blitz of words aiming to their meaning true to conjure up the countless storied images of companions past even as now they resurrect the details and betray the names to all eyes, set stark in contrast lino-rendered timeless there. “Ah yes,” he whispers tenderly as lovingly he clutches fast this scripted recollection, indelible, ineradicable, comprising leaf, nay sheaf, of summ’d achievements of his erstwhile compatriots whose hearts and faces all comprise his memories and banked emotions tranquil resting now within his musings as his seeing / knowing eyes seek / confer a vested peace that seeps into the corners of his being. It fails to daunt the spark of seeing-eye in kindly wizened man. “Ah yes,” he mutters distractedly yet sagely and with patience full recalling souls and spirits, the enchanting and enchanted, these the holy subjects of the chronicles, with whom he intermingled once, beating were whose hearts once wildly, breathlessly who seized at living’s respirate, its cooling airs. Today they rest, no more to suck their life’s breath from the common store. But even as they rest their sweet repose is touched anew enlivened as it were by steady constant gaze of olding man with even stare and as he touches, is he touched by these his neighbors who, albeit wanting in capacity, of enlivening stuff still are full possessed. But gone, gone the flickers are that fiercely, once, set countenance afire. “Ah yes,” he murmurs dreamily as he folds another leaf and lays the paper down beside him to close his eyes and rest. “Ah yes,” he mouths as graying temple slips to nod upon the shoulder of his benchmate, one who knows him well as the two stare off together in th’uncomprehending distance with ever heavier eyelids as the evening comes anon. Seeing, knowing, sensing, feeling, feeding much upon the fulsome banquet wrinkling now within his hands, the wise old man, the reader, the gleaner, the doer and the seer, sated of the heady nutriment, doth sleep.
Michael Yaworsky is a retired legal editor who lives in Rochester’s 19th Ward with his family.