The Old Man

The old man sat there quiet, as the three kids sashayed in.
Each one of them was wearing a vile, rambunctious grin.
Whoopin’ and Yee-hawin’, they set up a such fuss,
You couldn’t hear the jukebox, for hearing them three cuss.
The old man stood up and said, “Boys, don’t mean ya wrong,”
“But kindly do be quiet. The next one up’s my song.”

    Ain’t the age of the horse or his stride, that makes the greatest speed.
    It’s the heart that beats within him, that moves a mighty steed.
    Ain’t the age of the horse or how tough the races that he’s run.
    It’s where he ends up standing, when all the runnin’s done.

First kid, the big one, said, “Imma whoop your butt,”
“I don’t need the others while I teach you, Pops, what’s what.”
His speed was surely something – make a rattlesnake look slow.
The kid swung hard, the old guy dodged, and threw a single blow.
The old gent still was standing, not looking awful old.
And the kid – his nose all busted up, lay on the floor out cold.


Looked as if the other two would kill the man that night.
The second kid was quicker yet, and caught the man just right.
You could see the cut across his lip where the kid had hit him good.
Old man jabbed, kid went down; was the old man who still stood.
The third kid was a might too slow, as he lined-up for a shot,
Because for all his troubles, a broken jaw he got.


The old man’s lip was bleeding, dripping down his chin,
The second kid was getting up, his courage getting thin.
Old man spun the kid around and said to him real nice.
“Listen up young man, ain’t gonna say it twice.”
“Before you leave to get patched-up, keep your mouths shut tight.”
“And put a quarter in the box – I’ll hear my song tonight.”


(follow-on verse)

If you’re young and full of vinegar, I got you some advice.
When you walk into a joint and scope it out, think twice:
If old is all you see sitting there that night,
Be careful, little buddy, before you pick a fight.
Old has been around and knows most all the tricks.
You may not like the way you find you’re getting yourself kicks.

(c) S P Wilcenski 2009

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