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Submitted on
September 29, 2011
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Down my street lives an old man
With hands like leather and eyes of blue steel
Down my street lives an old man
He walks with a limp and struggles to kneel

Down my street lives an old man
He rarely speaks, I wonder if he's shy
Down my street lives an old man
When I walked by today, I smiled and said hi

Down my street lives an old man
People say he's mean and I think that's silly
Down my street lives an old man
He smiled today and gave me a lily

Down my street lives an old man
I wonder why my brother says he's made of stone
Down my street lives an old man
I've seen him crying, in his garden all alone

Down my street lives an old man
We fed the birds on his porch today
Down my street lives an old man
I help him now, despite what others say

Down my street lives an old man
I fought a boy today, who told mean lies
Down my street lives an old man
He tells me to not let my innocence die

Down my street lives an old man
A soldier he used to be, when he was young
Down my street lives an old man
He says I don't understand because I am young

Down my street lives an old man
His gift to me, his cross, silver and black
Down my street lives an old man
He carries the weight of the world on his back

Down my street lived an old man
His house is empty, the curtains drawn
Down my street lived an old man
The birds are quiet, the flowers all gone

Down my street lived an old man
I now understand what he always tried to tell me
Down my street lived an old man
He wasn't evil, not like they made him out to be

He was an old man
With hands like leather and eyes of blue steel
He was an old man
His kindness taught me how to feel
So I was digging through a small wooden box I've had since middle school and came upon something that surprised me.

The little trinket reminded me of the old man who'd given it to me and I ended up writing this poem. The old man lived in my hometown (not on the same street as me but as a friend whom I spent much of my youth with) and I got to know him over the course of a summer (the same summer he passed away).

The old man was always treated differently and as a kid I didn't understand why. It wasn't until I was fifteen or so that I figured it out.

The question I put to you, good reader, is can you tell me why the old man was treated differently?
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:iconshining-galaxy:
Shining-Galaxy Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow....
And to answer your question: Is because he saw things that we, has civilians have not seen, he has experienced things that we have not.
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:iconlj-todd:
LJ-Todd Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Is your "wow" a good wow?

In response to your answer, you're mostly correct. He was a soldier and he did experience things we could never begin to even imagine. But there was more to peoples poor treatment of him than that. A lot of it had to do with his nationality and the country he fought for.
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:iconshining-galaxy:
Shining-Galaxy Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Of course, it's a good one :)

Where was he from?
I don't think that should matter :( But people think it anyway....
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:iconlj-todd:
LJ-Todd Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:)

He was from Germany.

And you're right, it shouldn't have mattered, but in a small town everything, even the silliest of things, seem to matter to someone.
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