It Can Wait

It Can Wait

A Poem by Katie Lynn
"

"And always love with all your heart. It's worth it, in the end."

"

In a shady little tavern,

An old man sat in gloom,

Of a dim and quiet corner,

Inside an empty room.

 

It was a dark and lonely night,

His glass was filled too high,

Staring out with his red-rimmed eyes,

He waited there to die.

 

“The only patron in the joint,

And sitting all alone,”

The barkeep tended his own thoughts,

But glanced up at a groan.

 

The old man clutched at his torn shirt,

Breathed hard into the air,

Rubbed roughly at his tired, wet eyes,

Let loose a string of swears.

 

The barkeep made his way to sit,

Across from the poor man,

“Hello sir, my name is Daniel,

But you can call me Dan.”

 

The old man nodded silently,

Then quietly replied,

“I don’t have anyone left, but

My friends would call me Clyde.”

 

Dan beseeched the grim-faced elder,

“As you rest your tired soul,

Why not tell me your life story,

Before you lose control?”

 

At those words Clyde looked to his glass,

Shocked to find it empty,

And gently rubbed his neck in shame,

And whispered, “A pity…”

 

He glanced back at the fresh-faced youth,

As light danced in his eye,

And thought a moment longer, ‘til…

“It started with a lie.”

 

“It was my sixteenth year, I bet,

When first I met my Rose.

She was a charming, pretty thing,

Bright smile and tiny nose.”

 

“It was her eyes that captured me,

Glowing gold in the sun.

The lightest brown I’d ever seen,

One look and I was done.”

 

“And yet I never found out why

This darling little thing

Agreed to let me take her out,

She’d caught me on her string.”

 

Dan chuckled at the old man’s laugh,

“But sir, what was the lie?

It’s clear how much you loved your Rose,

Yet here you sit…but why?”

 

The spark died out in Clyde’s grey eyes,

A frown had creased his brow,

He blinked away the sudden tears,

He sighed then, “This is how…”

 

“I took her to the pub one night,

It started to get late.

She begged for me to take her home,

I told her, ‘it can wait!’”

 

“You see, my friends had all been there,

Drinking and playing pool.

And sweet Miss Rose just drank her Coke,

While watching from her stool.”

 

“That night started all of the pain

I ever put her through.

Good Lord knows what she saw in me,

Or why she stayed there, too.”

 

Dan leaned back in a thoughtful pose,

Considering the man,

“But sir, you said there was a lie

Where all the pain began?”

 

Clyde stroked his grey and fraying beard,

“I was an hour late

On the day I was to wed her,

I’d told her, ‘It can wait.’”

 

“I’d been at the pub the whole day.

My Rose…of course she knew,

I missed our anniversary,

And the baby’s birth, too.”

 

“Throughout the years she stayed with me,

I used the same excuse.

I missed the finest things in life

In favor of some booze.”

 

“And every time she asked me why,

I’d told her, ‘It can wait.’

Yet still she stayed, year after year,

A woman without hate.”

 

“I never did a single thing,

To ever deserve her.

For all the s**t I put her through,

I’ll go to Hell for sure.”

 

“Young man, I am a lonesome fool.

I make the same mistakes.

My heart is tired, my soul asleep,

I’m full of pains and aches.”

 

“And yet I never learned my wrongs.

Even now, on this day,

As my Rose is laid down to rest,

I have stayed far away.”

 

With that the old man bent to weep.

Tears dripping in his glass.

His old, frail body wracked with sobs,

His trembling would not pass.

 

Dan could hardly believe poor Clyde,

A shadow of a man,

He wiped his nose and sighed aloud,

“I’ve lived a wretched span.”

 

“You’re a kind-hearted man, my friend,

I don’t want your pity.

I’m too far gone, my life is done,

Time to leave this city.”

 

Old Clyde stood to walk to the door,

“All my life I was blind,

But if it’s not too much to ask,

I’d like some peace of mind.”

 

“It’s far too late to save my soul,

I can’t just wish things right,

But maybe now I have a chance,

To give you my insight.”

 

“See, life is always happening,

Whether you want it to,

But please don’t let it pass you by,

It will not wait for you.”

 

“Get out more, have friends and find love,

Live a life without fears,

Don’t you stay in the same routines

Or you’ll lose months and years.”

 

“Take everything life can offer,

Make rules, but sometimes bend,

And always love with all your heart.

It’s worth it, in the end.”

 

With that the old man shook Dan’s hand

And walked out in the night.

He left his demons out to dry,

His steps were quick and light.

 

Dan shook his head in disbelief,

But he could not deny

The look of sudden clarity

That twinkled in Clyde’s eye.

 

And so Dan closed the bar down tight

And off he went to bed

To dream of stars and joyous light

And all that had been said.

 

They found Clyde’s body the next day,

Beside the graveyard road

With shotgun shells and grass stained red

From where his blood had flowed.

 

He left a simple note behind,

“I cannot bear this weight.

I’m sorry that I took so long

To say, ‘It cannot wait.’”

© 2017 Katie Lynn


Author's Note

Katie Lynn
This is the first poem I've written in almost a year! It's been in the works since December, though. I feel like I rushed the ending a bit, please let me know if I need to add anything or make any changes, I am not very experienced with narrative poetry. All criticism welcome, thank you!

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Featured Review

I am a bit too late to the party but I couldn't resist or stay silent. This was such an amazing read, really, I am so happy I got the chance to read it! Great job with the constant rhyme, it would've taken me ages. So powerful, you can't stop once you start reading.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Katie Lynn

3 Years Ago

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read and review! I greatly appreciate your kind words... read more



Reviews

This was an excellent poem with a great moral. Time waits for no one and love is important. I'm sure it must have taken a while to do but from what I've read here, it was worth it. The ending was not rushed to me. :)

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't know what to write. This is so beautiful. I want your poems in a book! My god, this is incredible. I have to share it with my friends!!!

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I am a bit too late to the party but I couldn't resist or stay silent. This was such an amazing read, really, I am so happy I got the chance to read it! Great job with the constant rhyme, it would've taken me ages. So powerful, you can't stop once you start reading.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Katie Lynn

3 Years Ago

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read and review! I greatly appreciate your kind words... read more
This was well worth the read. You did a great job writing this. There were maybe a couple of lines that sounded short but I didn't mind. I wasn't going to read it because of the length but I was gripped til the end.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Katie Lynn

3 Years Ago

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review! I greatly appreciate it, I'm so glad you l.. read more
A Ballad is a poem that tells a story, which are often used in songs because of their rhyme and life lesson: often associated with a love story! You have appeared to have encapsulated the essence of this style, within the verses of your poignant composition! Well done … :-)

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Katie Lynn

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review! I greatly appreciate your feedback. :)
Enchanting tale of budding relationships that compell the reader to place themselves within the delightful storyline.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A good story. It flowed well.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a great ballad, highly reminiscent of the poems of Robert W. Service. You tell a great story with a very profound theme, and the only critique I have is that the rhythm gets choppy in a number of places, which pretty much undermines the power and integrity of the whole piece. Just something to think about for this otherwise is too good for words! Well done!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A creditable effort if this is the first for a year. Not so keen on the short line format, it tends to rush you through the poem and story. I'm a little wary of 'instructional' or 'moral' themes, designed to instruct the reader. I prefer to let readers come to their own conclusions than lead them by the nose to your own point of view. But a good effort.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on June 1, 2017
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Katie Lynn
Katie Lynn

TX



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This section is for the most Incredible Poet, and amazing friend, David Lewis Paget. He is, by far, the most talented writer I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I would love for everyone to e.. more..

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