The Old Man

by Eric Elliott

“Why didn’t you fix no bread?” She asked. 
“I ain’t know what kind you wanted” the old man said so cool-
He would then reach into his pocket after school.
“Run across the street, 
and get you something sweet”
His timeless hands cupped with surety,
Rough and weathered with wisdom and security-
“Brang me back an Aura  C” he instructed.

He was rugged like the cross I suppose-
One nail broken, 
Tells of stories unspoken.
I dare not joke about the ash of those hands.

This is the ash of a nigger, negro, and colored man. 
Sometimes he would talk about 
the good times of the worst years prior-
He sankofa those years, 
With unforgotten tears-
He’s seen so many brothers born into death, 
And die into birth.

The tin seal crack,
The old man sat back-
“You yet holding on?”  He inquires.
He stares until he gets an anticipated reply.
“Yes, sir! I’m yet holding on to Jesus”
He saw that I knew the Lord, 
and that I would understand it better by and by.

Hearing change,
Feels so strange, 
Now that the old man is out of range.

“Don’t rush off!”
I wish I could tell him as he told me,
This great man who loved God faithfully,
A “Giant Servant” and a “Good Man”,
I’ll always remember the old man,
As long as I can!

The Old Man by Eric Elliott

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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