The Lonely Fisherman
Age Rating: 10 +
Picture Credits: http://tomakazi.com/gallerylores/trlifter/old%20man%20fishing.jpg
He sat alone day after day,
Quietly casting his hook
Into the water,
Over and over.
He thinks of days gone by,
Of years past.
He thinks of Emma,
Who used to sit on the bank
By his side for many years.
A bright red and white blanket
Sat beneath them.
Oh, the stories that blanket held.
And she had stories, too.
She would tell him stories of her past
To pass the time away.
He never grew tired of the tales she told.
She would feed him from a picnic basket,
While they sat on that blanket.
The meal was always a delight,
Something new each day.
That basket was always filled with love.
He could still taste it in his mouth,
Or maybe that was just another memory,
Like the memory of her kiss,
So long ago.
That same basket sat at his side today
On the once bright red and white blanket.
That basket held two pieces of bread,
But it was empty of the love
That had always spilled from it.
He reached into the basket
And took out one piece of bread.
He laid it on the blanket next to him,
In the spot Emma used to sit.
After retrieving the second piece,
He began to eat it.
He started talking quietly,
As though someone were listening.
He spoke of picnics in the past,
Of fishing trips made memorable
By the sound of laughter.
"Emma," he said.
"It's been too long that I've been alone.
I'm tired and I'm lonely.
I don't want to be alone anymore.
I'm coming home to go fishing with you."
He slowly, painfully
Laid his head to rest on the worn blanket.
He held his fishing pole in his hand
As he looked out over the water
One last time,
Then closed his eyes.
He felt he could still see,
Even with his eyes closed.
His chest raised to take in one last breath
And at that very moment
He saw her,
Waiting for him,
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How beautiful, yet heartwrenching. You seem to have touched on a subject most familiar to more than a few.
My father-in-law just passed away two months ago and left his wife of 55 years behind. We are struggling daily to keep her alive.
All of your work that I have read thus far strikes emotion deep within.
Mary -BrytEyz- Ball
This was very sad. My husband's Uncle Don died a year to the day nearly after his wife passed away. Every day we'd visit he'd say in a sigh "I miss my wife!"
We'd try to play cribbage with him as we always used to do, but it seemed to remind him of his wife even more as they used to play it day in and day out.
Anything we tried to talk about, always came back to her. No matter what we tried to discuss, even if it had NOTHING to do with her, he'd then say "Man, I wish Emma was here. She'd have loved to hear that!"
That was one of the first times I was actually relieved to see someone pass away because his every waking moment was so very sad. I knew he finally found some sort of peace. Sigh.
Your poem reminded me of him. You did a wonderful job capturing the sadness, the emptiness, the lonliness. But then, you always do a great job at whatever it is you're writing! :-)
Richard Reed Jr
It's beautiful when your spouse is also your good friend, and how much more would that loved one be missed. I always tell my sweetheart that selfishly, I want to be the first to go. I could not stand to be left behind. I had a grandfather who had a heart condition and after my grandmother died, he literally drank and smoked himself to death.
This is a well-written piece as are all your pieces. Thank you for writing this.
Such an evocative piece, one I can so readily empathise with. As we age I think that most of us have that blanket, so faded with age.
My late wife and I used to fish quite often, I taught her how, then she kept catching more than me.
I hope she found a lake where I can eventually join her.
Thanks for the memories.
Gee, thanks for putting the tears in my eyes. lol
This brought back memories of my grandparents. I've never seen two people so in love. After Granddad died, Grandma gave up living. Although she was in good health, she lasted only six months. I still believe she died of a broken heart.
Wow, this is a really good write!