I stopped to meet a man today

surrounded by his walker.

He needed a little more space

to stay a stable pace

without a falter.

‘Twas to my pride

but mostly luck,

that I this time

did not deny

his slow and gnarled like gait

through said passage

that was mine to take.

He had a little hat upon his head.

Neatly folded and serenely molded.

Cloth it seemed, instead of new,

with sideways, tilted,

falling off of head.

In fact it seemed a shape to me

faintly reminiscent of the sea.

A simple shape, to be sure.

As all the ships of early were.

And from it hung some symbols pure,

and sacred too, earned and placed

with much ado.

And so I broke from shell

and cried, lest I disturb

the inbound tide.

Dear Sir, be you one that

did survive,

that hellish war

where all had died?

A glimmer shown

between those ears,

that had weathered

oh so many years.

And he and his beloved spouse,

stopped and from

his purplish heart

emerged a handshake

‘tween us two,

as I delivered

respect long due,

to an aged veteran

of World War II.

— Douglas Colthurst 2010


Douglas Colthurst

Born in rural Illinois, graduated from a high school with total enrollment of one hundred seventy-five students. Attended the University of Illinois, majoring in Biology. Received a liberal arts degree. Went on to the University of Illinois Dental College and graduated with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree in 1981. Six months as the dentist for Pontiac Maximum Security Prison, Pontiac, Illinois. I have started a book on this time, entitled " The Walk ". Private practice of Dentistry, twenty-nine years, in a small community in northern Illinois. My writing started about seven years ago. I always wanted to explore the other side of my brain, but my sound, midwestern values coerced my efforts toward a paycheck for some time. Why poetry? Well, it just started somehow. Emotional stress does tend to bring out the best in writers, doesn't it? And also maybe for musicians, artists, and perhaps all human expression. "A Christmas Reflection" was written for our family Christmas dinner in 2004.

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