Two Old Men (Written December 31)

Two Old Men

 

They stood holding on to each other

As in combat, two old men,

Equally tall, equally thin,

 

Brothers perhaps, with the same nose,

The same receding chin,

Though one seemed a little older

 

Than the other, with graying hair,

A deep frown, and a boldness

In his stance and in his look

 

That was quite his own.

He held the other’s neck in the crook

Of his arm and would not let go.

 

The other had his fist tucked

Into the stomach of his foe,

As if he had intended to hit

 

Him there, hard, but held back

At the last moment. A split

had sundered them, there on the fine

 

Parquet floor, while behind, at a table,

People talked and drank wine.

There was movement, laughter.

 

He struggled to break free.

What he wanted was what comes after

The anger and the tears.

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