Monday, September 17, 2012



His hand trembling
Reaching out to pay.
Liver spots dancing
Coins spill from wallet
Spin on the counter.
Neck muscles straining
His brow twitches as
The young cashier picks
The correct change out.

The spit on his lips
As he tries to say
“Thank you young lady”
Gathers and drips down
Onto his sweater.
The tears start to form
Frustration building
It was so easy
When he was younger.

Young mother and kid
Waiting behind him
Huffs rather loudly.
Construction worker
Curses the old man,
“I ain’t got all day!”
Slumping dejected
He moves his scooter
The cashier calls out.

“Sir you’ve forgotten
Your milk and your eggs.
Let me carry it out,
These people can wait.
You’ve had a rough time.
Parkinson’s is hard.
They don’t understand.
But my grandmother
Fights the same battle.”

He lets out a sigh,
Then tries to smile.
She rubs his shoulder.
Young mother blushes,
Construction worker
Mumbles, “I’m sorry.”
His trembling hand waves,
“Na….na…NO prob…problem.”
I once didn’t know.

Her manager stops her
To tell her good job.
He adds a gift card
He too has been touched.
His wife diagnosed
With early onset.
Watching her struggles
Without a complaint.
Bravery each day.

By Joe Robinsmith – September 17, 2012

Written in memory of my father, Gerald Robinsmith.  A gentle man weakened but not dulled. I love you dad.

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