Life is a Journey – A Poem

Excuse me?old-man-with-cane-and-dog

I looked up.

It was a

man that I

recognized, but I

didn’t know from

where. It must

have shown on

my face. I’ve

never been good

at hiding things

within my skin.

You probably don’t remember me.  I saw you walking down the sidewalk with your cane during the summer. I said we were both Children of the Sphinx.

As soon as

he said that,

I did remember.

The riddle of

the Sphinx ran

through my head:

What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, three legs in the evening?

I said. His

eyes widened and

he smiled at

me, clapping a

hand to my

arm in joy.

You do remember! And look at you now! Walking without your third leg! How did you do that?

I thought about

how to answer

him, how to

encompass everything I’d

been through to

get where I

am. In the

end, I just

shrugged my shoulders.

He put his

hand on my

arm again and

left it there.

It’s okay, you don’t need to say anything. Life doesn’t often work out the way we think it will. Life doesn’t go as we plan it or dream it when we’re young.

I nodded. He

had summed up

everything I had

been thinking. I

looked at him,

really took him

in, his kind

eyes, warm smile

and his right

hand, holding a

long wooden cane.

No, it doesn’t. Mine certainly hasn’t.

He looked at

me, taking me

in this time.

He nodded his

head, looked at

me with wise

and open eyes.

Can I ask you something? You have the look of someone who’s been on a journey. You have, haven’t you?

I nodded again,

unable to say

anything. I was

normally not at

a loss for

words, but this

man’s ability to

see right into

me silenced them.

Then I want you to do something for me. Every time you start to slide back, I want you to take a stop on the path your on and look back at how far you’ve come. Will you do that.

I said softly.

Yes, I will.


He said, giving

me a smile.

Just remember, You’re life may have not gone as planned, but that’s okay. It’s all a journey. All of it.

He hugged me

then with one

arm, the other

one still down,

holding the cane.

I hugged him

back with both

arms, trying to

communicate everything that

I hadn’t said.

You take care of yourself now. Okay?

He walked away

down the sidewalk

With the sun

shining behind him,

his shadow looked

as if he

didn’t have a

cane in his

grasp and seemed

to stretch until

it was as

tall as the


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