Old Tom

Old Tom

by Craig Lincoln

photo by sistro-80

The old man walks stolidly by
Questions spring into my mind I know not why
He has burdens he carries it is obvious to me
I heard somewhere he was in battles over the sea
A back not bent but held stiff and straight
It says stay out like a locked backyard gate
His time with us he spends alone
The secrets of his past are his alone
I see haunted eyes staring from his face
As he watches the street kids in a game of chase
What does he see from those eyes of grey
What memories does he hide from day after day
His smile he shares with us on the street
His voice to our ears however a rare treat
Thick calloused fingers and an affinity for the soil
Tell of time spent working never shirking from toil
A rural background I like to envision
With time in the services on a secret mission
An affectionate pat to the local street pets
That’s as close to our community as he ever gets
His house and yard are kept pristine
The pride he takes easy to be seen
His clothes are worn
But not tattered or torn
To get inside to know this man
Is a task that I must take into hand
Yet respect for his privacy is paramount to me
An enigma among he remains a puzzle to me


Craig Lincoln is an amateur writer with a focus on poetry. He put off writing for “far too long”, and now that his family is growing up and away, he has time to put pen to page. Craig has been published in a few e-zines and a Kindle edition of his poetry out as well. He has written ninety-seven posts on Writer’s Carnival.

1 Comment for “Old Tom”



Wonderfully descriptive. I can see this man, and understand the yearning to know him, despite the fact that he has chosen to be reclusive. I felt the flow, the mystery, and respect. Very nice! Becky

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