The Old Man

Kristen Lopez-Ferreira, Poet

I’d never greet him in the mornings

or acknowledge him at night,

but whenever I was summoned, it’d always stir a fright.


The call was never urgent or dangerous whatsoever,

but one night I was caught in the act of carving my smile,

and the old man couldn’t stand it; he saw it as vile.


I tend to carve my smiles in the quiet, dark night.

Unless, of course, something goes slightly or terribly wrong,

and I am forced to go along.


When I have to go along with an uncomfortable situation,

I slip into a corner; a space out of sight;

carve a smile, and walk out with delight.


But now, the Old Man has revoked me of my tools.

I endure my situations, trying to be still,

attempting to enjoy something against my will.


It’s been three months since the Old Man took my tools away.

I’ve realized he doesn’t want to be the bad guy;

he sees I have potential, and he wants me to try.


I’ve come to understand that the only villain in my story is me.

I can’t steal my tools back, but I can buy more.

And when I do, I’ll have a plethora of places to store.


So now I go, against my will,

to places with people and situations I will never enjoy.

I carry my tools with a goal to fulfill;

a life of my own to destroy.