The Old Bench (or “Benchus Fugit”)


Bench at Wheat & Walker

Right around the corner in my neighborhood
I can only guess the years this old bench has withstood.
An abandoned ancient bus stop of the municipality,
But romantically I see a relic of southern hospitality.

Every time I pass this way
I feel nostalgia for the day
When this bench offered a passerby
The chance to catch their breath and sigh.

A kind invitation to rest awhile
To maybe chat and share a smile
To sit in the shade dappled yellow and green
And feel the morning breeze of a day still pristine.

Whether the bench was a destination
Or a milepost along one’s peregrination
It beckoned to all who strolled on by
To watch cotton clouds on a bright blue sky.

The bench used to sit at the edge of a hill
And all these years later, resides there still.
But the hill became shorter, advancing its girth
Overtook the bench, making it part of the earth.

A cement jewel encrusted in a matrix of vines
Its right arm is broken, its bones rusted tines.
Tendrils of ivy curl over its back
As if to shelter it from time’s relentless attack.

It patiently waits with its arms open wide
Like a faithful friend whose love will abide
That you take for granted will always be there
Until it’s too late–you forgot to care.

Each time I see it, it’s slightly more crumbled
And my hopes that it will last are ever more humbled.
At some point, the City will tear it down
Citing progress and safety and improving the town.

This bench breaks my heart because all time is on loan,
So I just took its picture and wrote up this poem.
There’s no forestalling its inevitable fate.
Just enjoy its sweet charm—do it now, don’t wait.



Filed under Poems

3 responses to “The Old Bench (or “Benchus Fugit”)

  1. t h i n g s + f l e s h

    Your poem is sweet and powerful. Thank you for sharing it with me. Tony


  2. Jean

    Gloria, I’ll never pass by that bench without thinking of you poem..beautiful!


  3. Polly

    Absolutely lovely!


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