Two old men, waiting

L. B. Mek



I glimpse a flailing hand

Through the doorway 

and approach, calm as a cucumber 

Still in its skin-tight wrapper 

I see, my father shaking all over

Like a dying fish, grasping ~ flopping 

Despairingly, trying to get up


I get closer, he notices me

And he starts whispering 

in a shaky voice, such a small voice

He thinks this is it, keeps mumbling 

Something has gone terribly wrong 


I annunciate and demonstrate 

Taking long deep breaths

In …….. Out ….. In ………. Out ….. In


Offer him my hands, he clings-on

And as he pulls, I plant my weight

Let him use me, as dead weight


His eyes are wide, his mumbling 


Floating like he was my mother’s 


He rises from the bed like a vampire 

From a coffin 


‘‘that’s it!’’ I encourage 

Two steps back, I take

Two steps forward, he shuffles

And on

Inch by inch, we arrive

At our holly grail, just in time


Flick on toilet lights

and he stumbles on, defiant 

brushing me aside

like always.


I walk away, for now

My eyes are as dead 

As my frozen heart

His eyes, even now

Still, full of despise 


No blames attached

A loving father, once

A screw up, kid



Just playing the hands

They were dealt

Waiting to see, what that river

card, Will bring 


Waiting to see, who’ll be first

Down that 6ft ‘great perhaps’


Such is life…


And on, we soldier on

‘Fight, fight’

I recite those famous Dylan lines

In my head, alone

‘Fight, against this dimming light

Do not go gently, do not go quite!’


Fight old man, and

you as well, Fight

oh father of mine!



© L. B. Mek

July 2022

  • Author: L. B. Mek (Offline Offline)
  • Published: July 29th, 2022 01:44
  • Comment from author about the poem: 'Do not go gently into that good night' by Dylan Thomas ( )
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views:
  • Users favorite of this poem: dusk arising, Fay Slimm..


  • dusk arising

    To write that i was moved by this piece is such an understatement.

    So many coincidences with my own actual experiences came at me with jolting shock upon shock. My dear old angry pap actually passed away on the loo giving rise to our ribald "he passed away straing over a stool" which would have suited his humour in lighter moments. Disappointing son, tell me about it.

    For so many reasons, not least the excellent style of this writing, this has to be among my favourites where i know It will shock me time and again.

    • L. B. Mek

      We all imagine, we're so different from each other
      but our experiences insure we're all, just
      dogpaddling in that melting pot of life..
      really appreciate you sharing such intimate
      and personal details, Dusk
      just reading your words
      helped ease the vulnerability I feel
      when reading my own scribble
      humbly, I thank you!

    • Fay Slimm.

      An unforgettable pathos in this very compelling write L.B. - - this one must go to my favourite list.

      • L. B. Mek

        yeah well, its crazy
        how much harder this snapshots of real life
        can be to write, I always assumed
        the fictional or imaginative stuff was harder
        but, its like the ink gets thicker and each syllable
        comes after wading through a quicksand
        pooling, of breath stealing raw feelings..
        (really appreciate you reading and supporting
        dear Fay
        makes it worthwhile to know Poet's of your calibre
        can relate)
        takes the edge off the unfair bitterness of it all!
        reinforces my choice, to fight
        thank you! πŸ™‚πŸ˜ŽπŸ’ͺ
        and-on, we trudge on!

      • MDStone

        Wow, this was like a page out of my life not too long ago. It brought back a flood of memories and feelings. β€œJust playing the hands They were dealt.” I loved it.

        • L. B. Mek

          I'm sorry, that you too
          experienced something similar
          but it's reassuring that you seem to be
          in a better place now..
          thank you! for gifting me, such encouraging words
          dear Poet

        • crypticbard

          That must have been a terrible time. I attended several deaths in the family but was not present for my father's. I could just imagine the the conflicting emotions as if I was there. We took care of an ailing father-in-law for over three years until he passed on. That was an epic effort of a season and we all came out of it changed. Thanks for sharing.

          • L. B. Mek

            you too, thank you for trusting me with such intimate
            I can't imagine how hard it must have been, I'm sorry for your loss
            may they all rest in peace..
            as they say, 'what doesn't break us, insures we get stronger'..
            or at least, we hope - so!
            thank you! kind Poet

            • crypticbard

              At least Nietzsche professes so!

            • 4 more comments

            • sorenbarrett

              This one strikes to the heart. So familiar, even if the exact circumstances are not. It holds a common theme to life and family relationship. In this we may all take the roll of father or son, by themselves or simultaneously. A great write

              • L. B. Mek

                yeah, it pulls on such common experiences
                but until I went through something similar
                I would have never thought to write about it
                just glad, you related and chose to empathise
                dear Poet, thank you!

              • Neville

                Upon my first visit and reading, I could not help but wonder whether these words were a long time in the making ..

                Maybe started way back & tinkered and touched up over time .. I can not explain why I should think so ..

                Maybe I am wrong and maybe you could enlighten me ..

                They nevertheless collectively comprised a most highly regarded and well respected lament indeed

                Kudos brother Mek .......... Neville

                • L. B. Mek

                  I scribbled these words over a sleepless night
                  a week or so ago, the night of the incident..
                  but the details, have been writing themselves
                  my whole adult life...
                  (you read me too well, Hyung) thank you!

                • Jerry Reynolds

                  Well done, L.B.
                  The turn card was a doozie.

                  • L. B. Mek

                    I envy the 'river rats' of the world...
                    thank you Jerry, kind friend
                    always here
                    for the important scribbles
                    always! you humble me

                  • Jon Nakapalau

                    Kind of reminded me of Waiting for Godot - Vladimir and Estragon - well done!

                    • L. B. Mek

                      if only! still
                      I'm humbled you would make such a reference
                      thank you! dear poet

                      • Jon Nakapalau

                        My pleasure.

                      • Goldfinch60

                        Wonderful emotive words Mek.


                        • L. B. Mek

                          thank you! Andy

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