ONCE A MAN

How often as we journey
Is there some special touch?
A chance meeting with a stranger
Which affects us very much.

A helpful hand lent to one
Whose battle is nearly done,
And words from him brought to me
An awareness of a battle won.

A quiet and gentle man
Of almost eighty seven years
When I heard what he had said,
I wiped away my tears.

“Thankyou Dear” is what he said
“For my glasses and my drink”
And oh how much these words of his
Made me stop and think!

“Once a man and twice a child”
Were the words he said to me.
When I thought about what he said ~
I could clearly see.

We talked about growing old
And how the wheel of life turns,
And I gently covered him
And left him to the peace he yearns.

His words affected my thoughts
And will stay with me always.
How right he is about “once a man”
And dependency at the end of his days.

How well I understood his words
And I saw the kindly smile
On the face of this beautiful soul
Who has travelled many a mile.

I did not just see a man
Now getting older in years,
I saw the beautiful baby
And I saw his Mother’s tears.

I saw the man he has become
> And how much his life has changed.
I had a glimpse of life for us all
And how our days are arranged.

His words will stay with me
For the measure of my days,
And I hope that when I am old
I have some of his charming ways.

I covered him gently
And quietly turned out his light.
I knew his words would change me
And I whispered a quiet “Goodnight.”

I doubt that this man will ever know
That words from him so soft and mild
Will always bring a warm memory
“Once a man – twice a child.”

© Linda J. Vaughan

August 28th. 2002


Written with Mr. O’Byrne in mind

they were his words.

The Pages of Avalon