OLD

*** A POETIC SHORT STORY! ***  

(BROKEN BY LIFE, MENDED BY CHRIST).

 

On a small hill, not so far away, there hangs an old and worn-out swing,

Made from a plank of old shed-wood, tied to a tree with thick, frayed string,

It rocks, abandoned, on this hill, is weathered, aged, with jagged sides,

Far cry from its young glory days, when it used to give the kids great rides.

The wooden seat is cracked and old and flaking due to years of rain,

This swing would love to swing so high again but could not take the strain.

 

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Likewise, there’s an old lady, who been dreaming of her past-youth’s days,

Reminisces ‘bout the swing she misses, and wonders if it still does sway.

She moves her tired, old, shaking bones and takes her walking stick in hand,

And shuffles down the road until the houses fade and she sees land.

The lady looks across the field, to the old farm where she did grow up,

She used to play within this meadow, make daisy chains, pick buttercups,

And in the distance, if she looks, stares hard and squints with aging eyes,

She thinks she spies her old swing, on the hill, which is a nice surprise!

 

It takes a while for her to walk across the field to reach the hill,

For old legs don’t move very fast, and old heart is feeling rather ill,

She stops to catch her breath a minute, before attempting, then, to scale

The small hill there before her, but she perseveres, although she’s frail.

She smiles a huge nostalgic smile, when finally the peak she sees,

And spots her homemade childhood swing, still hanging from the cherry tree.

The lady’s old and gnarly hands reach out and touch the fraying string,

Then, lovingly, she caresses the rotting wood upon her favourite swing.

She wonders if she sits on it again if it will take her weight?

For many years have passed and many pounds put on since she was eight!

So, gingerly and gently, this old lady lowers her bottom down

Upon the wooden plank-seat, which surprisingly still holds its ground.

She won’t attempt to swing it, but sits happily rocking to and fro,

Thinking about the decades past, perplexed at where the time did go.

 

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Her mind sways to reflection, for she sees her end-time drawing near,

And when, inside our souls we relive past life, we recall every year.

 

A push, a cry, a struggle…this old woman as a baby born,

Looking with love into the eyes of those who brought her into this world.

At that first moment it was wondrous, a gift of love and ecstasy, 

But that is not how life turned out, as she relives, let’s watch and see…

 

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The old woman kicks with all she has, but still she barely moves the swing,

Looking deep into the clouds, she starts once again remembering…

A baby in a high-chair, being babysat by the big T.V.,

Alone in her little infant world, as parents are seldom seen.

But, then, it’s grand! Off to toddler land, friends to replace her missing home,

Mom and dad don’t have time? She screams to Heaven, “I’ll do it Alone!”

Down the hill in a cardboard box, to the tree house all her friends had built,

Spending time with friends instead of family, ‘though her young heart filled with a touch of guilt.

Toddler into adolescent, a young lass is grown and curious,

‘though her clan itself is not Godly, this girl wants, she needs, she quests,

To find something beyond the now, something her faith could shelter in,

A shelter for her love, her soul, so her Spiritual journey is about to begin.

 

As her teenage-self raises its ugly head, denying dark, she ran to God instead,

No hate grew in her mortal heart, she wished with righteousness to wed,

She snuck off to church one foggy morn, so stealthily, – parents unaware,

And she basked, so thankful, within the word of God and the wonderous truth found there.

As she sat there, singing gospel, a young stallion caught her gleaming eye,

It seemed to be a message, as if this love was sent from Jesus Christ.

Eye to eye and heart to heart, two strangers, loving, soul to soul,

As this old woman keeps trying to sway the swing… where now will her memories go?

 

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An old woman still trying desperately to swing,

In her own mind swoons on a treasured memory,

Of the man in church she could not unsee,

a soulmate she felt from the first smile’s beam.

He approached, shy and subdued

And said “ma’am if you could give me the honour,

I’d love to court you for a night and prove I am what you’re after”.

Her eyes batted to reflect the sky, her excited smile shows no calm,

As she takes this boy within her arms and tells him “I’m yours, forever long”!

Two souls soon become one and live in close unity,

But there is much more here to come from the old woman sat upon the swing.

 

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Marrying her childhood sweetheart, both were thrilled that they had met at church,

This woman thanked The Good Lord, that their love did heal the years of hurt –

Hurt by neglective parents, but now as a bride, she could move out

Form her old home, where she grew up, which she was very glad about.

 

Years of happiness went by, two babies born…so sweet their cries!

A boy, a girl, both born from love, and both were apples of her eyes.

She thanked The Lord for family, for husband and kids of her own,

For food upon their table, for such love and for a happy home.

 

Until that day, when it was ripped away…

 

 

A tear rolls down the cheek of the old lady as she rocks the swing,

Reliving bad, old memories…heart re-breaking as the sorrow swims,

For she remembers all too well, the day there came a knock upon

Her front door…it was the police… “ma’am, I’m sorry, it’s about your husband and son”…

“There’s been a car crash”, he went on, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but they’re both dead”.

The woman rushed upstairs, to where her daughter lay asleep in bed.

“She’s only five, how can I tell her daddy and brother are both gone?”

She fell down on her grieving knees…cried for her true love and young son.

Lifting her eyes to Heaven, she screamed: “Why Lord? I don’t understand”!

Heart hardening in anger, she replaced prayers with stiff, fisted hands.

 

The once well-thumbed big Bible, then sits unused, dusty, on the shelf,

The woman too distressed, caught up in hatred, loss and grief’s dark hell.

Times were tough financially, but her daughter and her still stayed close,

Despite the times of hunger, repaired shoes, used books and thrift-store clothes.

She tried to count her blessings, but the woman found life too unfair,

And refused to listen to God’s voice…refused to believe He was there.

 

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An old woman stands up and leaves the swing,

Torn by the visions her old mind brings,

But looking back to that frail, shed-wood,

She understands this healing is good,

These memories are stinging,

But closure they’re bringing.

 

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Years spent tending closely, as her fragile, lonely daughter grows,

Trying to be the best she can be, to give her daughter, a mother, a home,

But the child soon strays and lashes out, and then mom becomes the enemy,

Wild, violent, and troubled, ‘til confused tears then grace her mother’s cheek.

One day at dinner, just the two of them, her daughter cruelly lashes out,

“Why did they have to die mom? Was it your fault?” through her tears she shouts.

 

The old woman’s eyes just well-up, as she relives this hurtful memory,

As she sits, kicking her feet, on the wooden swing, swaying in the summer breeze.

 

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Years passed and her young daughter heals, but the woman remains a little unsure,

For she’s wrestled grief for many years and it has left the both of them so sore,

But hopefully she accepts it, and then later her girl claims a beau,

She accepts him into her heart, with her daughter, and welcomes him into her humble home.

 

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Time ticks along as time will bring,

Back in the here and now and the old woman still swings.

Now moving to and fro… pushing hurt old hips, kicking up sore knees,

This old woman still visualizes her past dreams,

Now lost deep within her memories.

 

She continues to rock on the swing….

 

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As a younger woman, fallen from faith, far from God with a hate not known before,

This lady was cooking the dinner, when then comes a loud rap upon her own front door…

Dressed in a uniform, the firefighter relayed to her,

“There was a massive fire ma’am…at the farm. We believe your parents both perished and burned”.

 

She fell, wallowing, to the floor, in tears, her soul re-broken and re-torn,

She screams aloud in agony, “Can this cruel world hurt me any more?!!”

“Dear God, please stir me back home,

I know I’ve strayed so far from your throne,

I’m sorry, but now I need some strength,

For I’m floundering and sorrow’s too long in length”.

 

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The old woman is so tired now, but rocks in the wind upon the swing,

But still reaching for more answers, she embraces these pained memories.

She hangs her head before The Lord, ashamed when she recalls that time,

When she was lost in bitterness and strayed from Him in heart and mind,

But, thankfully, her soul fought-on, would not give in and made her pray,

And in her deep distress, she cried out “Father” on that fateful day…

 

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So, in her suffering and heartbreak, this young woman stayed down on her knees,

Struggling, all alone inside, to come to terms with all her grief,

When suddenly, she hears a gentle voice above her sobbing tears,

It was The Lord, who came to comfort her and tell her He is near!

The woman’s heart was shocked, yet hopeful, glad that she could feel God’s love,

Soul’s eyes began descaling, in revelations from The Lord above.

She realized that turning from Him in harsh times just made her pain much worse,

For Jesus understands, and His love and compassion lessen hurt.

The woman’s stunned and shaking, for she thought that God abandoned her,

Knows now that SHE abandoned HIM, and a thousand thoughts and feelings whir.

 

She quickly rises to her feet and races to the bookcase shelf,

In search of her old Bible, now her heart has warmed, she thaws and melts.

She blows the dust off, (quite embarrassed), and wipes the faded, leather cover,

Tries to calm herself, as she is eager for its wisdom to discover.

Every page The Lord does draw her to turns out to explain much,

And with each verse, her pain decreases…lessens with God’s loving touch.

 

The woman sees the error of her ignorant and faithless days,

Wants to go forwards with The Lord and calls on His amazing grace.

She finds herself back on her knees. As Jesus Christ accepts her pleas,

The Holy Spirit fills her up, with cleansing fire and gives her peace.

 

 

Now smiling as she sways the swing, the old woman looks up to the sky,

Thanking God for being there, and for her Salvation through Jesus Christ.

For this has brought her comfort…given hope…perspective, over the years,

And trusting in His will and guidance has saved her many woeful tears.

She realizes through all her pain, God didn’t leave her in distress,

And although life’s been difficult, she still sees how He left her blessed.

 

Her daughter now has daughters of her own and has a happy home,

Lives nearby so her mother doesn’t feel abandoned or alone.

And from her hilltop viewpoint, The old lady spies, not far away,

That house and 4 granddaughters in the garden, as they run and play.

“I wonder what their future brings?” she thinks as she daydreams on the swing.

 

 

 

She pauses for a moment…her reflective mood now worn and meek,

Tears streaming from her wrinkly eyes, her hand wipes off her weary cheeks,

She remembers all the grandkids born… the date and time of every one,

She remembers how they smelt and felt, when she got to hold each precious one.  

It doesn’t seem that long ago, when she herself was just a girl,

Innocent and just playing, oblivious to the ways of this cruel world,

But adulthood can be so harsh, caught in a whirl of grief and stress,

And now the woman’s old and tired, and body is far from its best.

 

She leans her head against the string, which smells damp as it’s old and fraying,

Creaking noises come from the swing’s wooden seat, for it’s decaying,

“My old friend”, she speaks to the swing, “I understand…for I rot too,

My heart is fading quickly, and this cancer riddles me all through”.

The old woman’s mind now wallows, thinking back to what the doctor said,

“Ummm… ma’am I’m truly sorry, but within 3 months you will be dead.   

I know this is a shock ma’am, and I hope you’ll take this news okay?

Please know my thoughts are with you” she heard the doctor sigh and say.

 

But she’s a woman with strong conviction and far from Satan’s easy prey,

She will still kneel down to her God, ‘though her legs ache, she still bends to pray.

Her faith keeps driving forward, for she knows reverse will mean she falls,

She lapsed once, will not lapse again! For she trusts The Christ’s great victory call.

She pauses for a moment…halts the sway of her old rickety swing,

For ‘though her hearing’s aging, her ears prick up as the angels sing…

 

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Despite all the old memories, this old lady dredges through her mind,

Old wounds, old love, old grief, old pain, she still believes The Lord is kind,

And now a gentle, peaceful feeling, washes her like warming tides,

A calm and happy presence of God’s love does fill her up inside…

 

“Hello, my child”, says Christ’s voice, as He stands beside her at the swing,

“I’ve come to take you home now and remember death has lost its sting.

I’ve made a room for you, my daughter, saved a seat at the wedding table,

I forgive all your past sins, and you’ve shown me that your faith is strong and stable.

Come now, child, and don’t look back, for you won’t need this old human shell,

I’ll clothe you, fit for Heaven, where my sweet flock all do rest and dwell”.

 

The old woman stands up gladly…steps up with Christ…won’t pause to look back,

For if she did, she’d see the swing was broken now and string had snapped.

Her mortal body laying slumped upon the grass, atop that hill,

Her ailing heart stopped beating…lungs stopped breathing…pulse has gone quite still.

But onwards goes her spirit…onwards…upwards to her Heaven’s home,

Happy, hand in hand with Christ, to where all other saints have flown.

The woman’s sad and weary tears, now turn to tears of bliss and joy,

As she kisses this sad world goodbye, there’s no more woe to hurt or toy.

She smiles and looks to Jesus…thanks Him for His grace and love so pure,

His understanding and compassion, for Salvation that reassures.

As gently they stroll through the clouds, each step she’s nearer Heaven’s gates,

The woman feels much younger, starts to heal, and grief no longer grates.

And when they reach the entrance to God’s kingdom, the gates open wide,

For Heaven’s been expecting her…and with Jesus, she walks on inside.

 

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WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRGICH (MAG) AND SUZANNE NEWMAN July 2021.

Michael Grgich Founder in 2015 of FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE, a Facebook Poetry Group, and Suzanne Newman also an ‘Admin’ in the group since 2017, have collaborated in joint projects for a number of years. The have jointly published “Inspired By…” a poetic journey through some of the main points of the Bible, and additional poetic works. Here is a sample. See Published Works on our Resources page for more about their first book “Inspired By…”. We understand there is a second book in the works called “Kindred Spirits”