Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday:  Free For All  (posted by hayesspencer)
Today is Free For All – meaning, you can choose your subject for the haibun. However there are still some rules: The haibun must be one to three tight paragraphs (2) Ended with a haiku (containing kigo and kireji words – season and cutting words) (3) Must be true (4) Must have actually happened to you.

At the doctor’s office today, an old man sat, clutching his walker, and talking to his son-in-law. He spoke in a loud voice that quivered, as he told each new person, “It’s no good to get old.” His son-in-law rolled his eyes in mock patience. “He’s ninety-eight, you know,” he whispered to people as they made their way to examination rooms. I was sad for the man who was not happy to be old, and sadder for his son-in-law who felt a need to excuse his father-in-law’s behavior.

Asian grandson hears
his eyes hold the light of Spring
words of wise elder


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are in the process of returning to New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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25 Responses to Respect

  1. Charley says:

    Yep. That is sad… for both of them. It makes me wonder if the son-in-law’s parents roll their eyes and apologize for him in the presence of others. Great write! Love the way the haiku plays into that!


  2. qbit says:

    Really liked the Haiku. Poignant and hopeful.


  3. jazzytower says:

    Nicely done. I like this challenge especially the part that says it ought to be true.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Someone should’ve ticked off the youngster.


  5. Sumana Roy says:

    Feeling sad for both of them. Nice haiku.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Frank Hubeny says:

    It’s probably a good reminder that it is no good getting old. It is not only an observation, but a challenge–how can one make it good?


  7. annell4 says:

    It is not easy to get old. Where have all the flowers gone?


  8. kanzensakura says:

    Getting old is hard. I hope one day the young man remembers this day and is ashamed. Powerful haibun and haiku.


  9. lillian says:

    Ah yes….our dear Aunt Flo used to say “Getting old is not for sissies.” And now, we understand. Hopefully we will each one of us, have many days….and learn to change our expectations so we can enjoy each new stage of old 🙂


  10. This made me think of an aunt who, starting about her 65th birthday, used to regale us by saying “I may not be here next year”. She lived for 33 more years, reminding us each birthday it might be her last!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The outburst could have been triggered off by some immediate frustrations then. It was nothing unusual!



  12. I always feel a little sad when someone doesn’t accept the relative they’re with, as if they found them embarrassing. Of course, when I was very young, I probably did that too and I wish I hadn’t.
    Nice haibun and haiku.


  13. I enjoyed reading this.


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