Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rude Reminder

This actually happened exactly as written.

Yesterday, on my daily walk,
a boy of about four or five
looked up at me and said, “hey! old man!”
Of course it immediately brought
my blue-sky-wandering thoughts to the top
of his lightning-striped, helmeted head.

I kept going
rummaging through my repertoire
of appropriate replies for delicate ears,
and the best I could find—
after clipping off the gray-haired adjectives,
was, “hey! young boy!”

Feeling like I’d offered equal tit for tat
I started searching through the trees
for that patch of cloudless reverie I left parked
under the pale eye of a daytime moon.

My Nikes perked up their pace for several steps,
when, like an arrow shot dead center of my back,
I heard, “I’m not young, I can ride a bicycle!”
No need to stop, turn, and hip shoot a retort,
I knew he was right, I’ve been riding for years.

powered by ODEO


jel said...


MMM said...

HA! Beautiful! From someone who got rid of her training wheels a loooong time ago. :-)

Margie said...

You amaze me how you can put your daily expreiences into such wonderful poetry!
I loved this one Pat!
Thanks for sharing it!
Wonderful reading too!

Masago said...

Pat, you've outdone yourself. This is terrific! This has to be a must-include in your forth-coming book.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I like it --- at least I hasn't been called "old man" yet. :)

floots said...

great stuff pat
there's nothing worse than a smatass kid
(unless it's any other sort of kid) :)
once - when i was in my thirties - a kid who didn't like my driving called me a f****** geriatric
years later and whadaya know ......... :)

trinitystar said...

Good one Pat ... as long as you are wearing your nikes you stay young.

donna said...

i liked it...
gotta love them youngins!!


firebird said...

I really enjoyed this poem!

It's funny how he was just as shaken to be called "young"--
I remember when I couldn't wait to get old!
Now I'm sliding down the far side of that mountain, trying to slow down...

Russell Ragsdale said...

This poem seems to float on a sea of tranquility, despite the rather hostile exchange. I think this was remarkable. This is another must read. Have you got a book in the works?

Borut said...

A little story turned into a great poem that makes one laugh, what else would a reader want!:) LOve it!:

dsnake1 said...

evocative piece, pat. enjoyed it.

i have been called many other names, but not yet "old man", but that won't be long before it happens :)

Pat Paulk said...

Thanks Janice!!

mmm, my older brothers thought it was fun to watch me learn without training wheels. Thank you!!

Margie, a very high compliment coming from one who does the same!!

Andrew, hang around long enough!!

Vaughn, with self-publishing no excuse, except I'm hard headed. Thank you!!

Floots, we're aging so gracefully. My exact thoughts initially, but after thinking about it for 24 hours I think he just addressed me exactly as his eyes saw me. And, he wanted me to know he could ride his bike.

Trinitystar, the youth of Nikes!!

Donna, yes you do. Thanks for coming by.

Vivian, it's all in perpective isn't it. Thanks!!

Russell, I wasn't too tranquill initially, but I did calm down. Thank you!!

Borut, it was funny after I thought about it. Thank you!!

Kai C. said...


Nancy said...

this is a great one. I just turned 50 in January. two weeks later I herniated a lumbar disc.
I had better get my sneakers on and get a good waling schedule going myself.

sage said...

wonderful, you captured the moment

Nea said...

ah, old man, indeed......all a matter of perpective isn't it, i remember being called an old lady when I was 28. Until that moment I felt pretty darn young, of course that retort was muttered by a group of sixteen year old "youngsters." Ah to be so
OLD again, say 30. haha

Pris said...

This is neat:-)

We start getting 'old' to that set when we hit high school.

MB said...

It's helpful to be reminded of different perspectives now and then, and this piece surely does.

polona said...

ah, the generation gap!
at least you go a great poem out of it.

Katie McKenna said...

So funny!!! :) Great story!

Janice Thomson said...

Oh!...loved this Pat...had a similar experience at 16 when I was asked if my "sister" was joining a group mother danced and grinned the rest of the afternoon!