Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Gone," Tom Doenges

By: Tom Doenges

There’s little left that I can do.
My bones are weak,
my strength is gone;
my days of lifting children high,
of sending kites
up to the sky,
of playing softball on the lawn,
of climbing sand dunes
by the lake,
of nailing shingles on a roof,
of painting a gable,
of planting a shrub,
of trimming a tree,
of being half the man I used to be.


I’ve thought about it a lot;
why I’m still around.
I always felt,
that if one takes up space
without producing
for the common good;
without earning a place
in the scheme of things,
it’s time to go.

And then a grandchild smiled and said,
can you help me with this?”
A neighbor
needed me to
fix a faucet.
A stranger
asked me to show him
the way.
I held the door
for one older
and more crippled than I.

I prayed
with a bereaved
friend who sought comfort.

The more I helped others,
the more I found
I had much to offer.

I felt guilty
knowing my own depression
was depressing others;
those I love most.

And at last I realized
that I still have much to do
that does not require
physical strength;
and all at once,
my fears,
my doubts,
my depression;


(2013 Poetry Contest: 1st Honorable Mention, Lucas County)

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