The Awakening

 (Photo credit:

Lonely, depressed, the old man took to riding the subway.
Moving aimlessly in the company of strangers
was preferable to sitting aimlessly at home alone.
The rocking soothed, as he sat worrying the sore spot
on his heart with the gnarled fingers of yesterday's pain-
ful memories, dreading the empty tomorrow still ahead.

The train rumbled on and on through the night,
announcing each stop with a squeal of pain. His eyes
were drawn by the lights that flickered by in the blackness
of a tunnel, but it was their reflection in the tears
coursing the pale, wizened cheeks beside him
that caught his eye instead.

She brought him back, that old woman hunched
against the glass of the window, dragging him
from the brink of his own misery by the sight of hers.
Though she'd always been there, weeping,
he never heard her over the whining in his head.
He'd never noticed how loudly self-pity played.

Without thought, he reached out and took her hand.
As if a phonograph needle had been lifted, the dirge in his head stopped.


Linked in at dVerse Poet's Pub



  1. awww what a lovely scene....we can def be caught up in our own junk some times...and reaching out to another is def a way to break out of it...cool story telling poem patti

  2. Awww... this is so true Patti, some people get so lost wallowing in their own self pity, they forget there is usually always someone else worse off than they are. Sometimes in the past I'd almost lost myself and then 'seen' how badly off some others in the world are and then I learned to count the blessings that I do have.
    This is lovely

  3. This sounds like a partial lifting of the clouds of depression, just enough to see the bright light that was always there, but masked. Nicely done, Patti.

  4. A very sweet poem! It makes me a little worried as a New Yorker, but it is a really nice scene. (And people can be perfectly friendly in a good way in the subway.) k.

  5. It's a heartwarming story. There are so many lonely people and they don't know where they do belong. It's satisfying that these two could find each other.

  6. I felt this, well written and emotional, lovely work! xo

  7. Wow such a story I am enthralled

  8. I really felt this piece. You touched on such a real human element here. Nicely done.

  9. Hi Patti - thanks for your comment and getting back to me.

    It is a lovely story and you are right about inspiration to be found in all places, however, unlikely, as well as kindness.

    I am an inveterate jokester - not always appropriately - so when I said it was a bit worrisome for a New Yorker, I was referring to the way that New Yorkers feel that they have to be so careful with eye contact - you know how it is - sometimes if one is friendly, a wrong message is picked up! So, I was really making a joke about how one sometimes has to feel so guarded on the subway. It is wonderful that people can find kindness there - and for all my guarding, I have found it. It is a lovely story. k.

  10. very beautiful... really enjoyed the read.

  11. A very lovely and inspiring story within a poem. As others have said, sometimes reaching out is the way to go. This really spoke to me!


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.