artwork by Phil Burns

Click here to hear the poet read his words:


holding my mother’s hand
I’d walk to the swing park
that was the big world
until the day I went to school in a tie
then I puffed my chest out
and thought
wow I am old

no time for holding hands
I discovered football
then rock n roll
and finally girls
until the day I left uni
went to work in a tie
and thought
man I am old

holding my daughter’s hand
I’d walk to the swing park
thinking about career
and mortgage
and divorce
but mostly
hell I am old

no chance of holding hands
I live alone
my children in faraway lands
I think about the past
lost opportunities
some regrets
and finally
now I am old

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13 Responses to old

  1. Bridgette says:

    What a powerful poem about the stages of life. Wonderfully poignant and a bit sad.


  2. Cassa Bassa says:

    I love this piece. The stages of life threaded through with holding hands, the bond we have with loved ones.


  3. I’ve always wondered why, with the universe existing for billions of years, we are only allotted three score years and ten. If I had a preference, I would rather hibernate between November and May, and live for a 150 years.


    • ceayr says:

      Just the nature of evolution, and it prevents us from totally exhausting our planet’s resources.
      And never build a snowman, never feel the thrill of hurtling downhill on skis, never enjoy a Scottish Hogmanay?
      Pah to that, good sir!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would happily hold your hand, CE, and talk about the days gone by, of toys and boys and and all the joys of life.
    But the arthritis in my wrists would make me wince in pain and ask “Why am I holding your hand when I’m someone’s else’s wife?” ☺️

    A true joy to read your work and hear your delightful voice. Another sublime piece!


  5. jenne49 says:

    Ouch, that resonates.
    What a powerful piece – the word themselvess, the form of the poem and the different tones of the reading emphasising the passing of time and Phil’s artwork capturing the final mood.
    (I had to smile with wee boy believing himself all grown up.)


  6. Katrin "Kate" McElderry says:

    So powerful!


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