The skin on his forehead bone
Is much folded and meek.
His toothless jaw is hanging alone
With specks of grey hair on his cheek.
Bold shadows in the faint light
Are cast by the recesses in his skin .
And his softened face once very tight,
Is now so haggard, weak and lean.
Holding the rail with all his might,
He is standing at the open door in the bus.
He seems sleepy with half-shut eyelids;
Or is he too feeble to stop his eyes closing thus?
And soon his eyelids fall down like sticks,
And he lapses into a light summer doze.
The snore coming from a hole between his lips
Is mingled with a fussy sound from his nose.
And his entire old face and lines shiver,
Every time his lungs expel burnt air.
Where is the vitality?
The sap of life?
The spark of youth?
The arrogance of time?
And gradually he opens his eyes
With his eyeballs all hazy and brown.
He looks around and tries to recognize,
Where he is with a curious frown.
And soon he gets lost
In some tedious thought it seems.
It must be about his monthly house rent, and medicine bills,
Or the face of his dead wife that in his eyes gleams.
Or is he trying so hard to recall,
What day of the week he is living in?
And there lingers a fear roused by his weak hands,
That his fingers might slip past the rail they hold;
And he may fall out of the bus from where he stands
Maybe never to stand again on his feet so cold.
And then when he looks out of the bus-door,
And sees the road slipping away so fast,
A cruel rapid fear creeps into those pale eyes
That loved pace and fury a few years into the past.