To Their Hearts Be True

I talked with a young man the other day.

I listened to what he had to say.

He said he didn’t think about tomorrow

But that he didn’t believe in all the hate and sorrow.

He believes that people no longer think on their own

because they trust what they see on their computers and phones.

He said he refused to be someone’s puppet

And this was his life to live and that he would love it.

When I asked, “At night, how do you sleep?”

He answered, “I sleep just fine among all the sheep.

I then spoke with my middle aged friend

who jokes that we are halfway to our end.

He said, Never before have I seen in my life

So much hatred, peril, and strife.”

He said, “When we were young and times got hard

we grabbed a lawn mower and cleaned a yard.

We washed dishes from which others ate

and hungered for the leftovers on their plate.

We paid the bills and we loved our life

We soldiered on thru our perils and strife.

At the care center, I spoke with a dying elderly man

bound to a bed, unable to stand.

I asked him about his life and where he would like to start

which seemed to start a fire for in his eyes I saw the sparks.

He said, “In my day you got to know a man by his hand shake and the look in his eyes.

You learned to debate and respect rather than listen to turmoil and lies.

You made your own path with what you believed

not by the words from forked tongues that chose to deceive.

You knew your neighbor because you chose to speak

and knowing we all cared helped us all to sleep.”

He then looked at his cell phone as it buzzed on the desk

and said, “It’s sad that people don’t speak anymore unless it’s a text.”

When I got home I thought about growing up.

Collecting cans on a dirt road from my dad’s pickup truck.

The bikes my brother and I used to ride

not to mention the coasters we built, how did we survive?

The field down the street where we used to play ball

and when the street lights came on, my mothers whistling call.

Boys played with girls but we didn’t always get along.

The belt that hung in the doorway to make us think of right and wrong.

Tomorrow I will put down my phone and throw the paper away.

I will talk to people like they did back in the day.

Maybe after work, I will drive down that dirt road

and take in the scenery to unwind and unload.

Share stories with my boys and watch the sparks in their eyes

as I tell them my story with nothing to hide.

I will hope they chose to live their lives

based on truths rather than lies.

Times they change and people do too.

One need just lives this life and to their hearts be true.

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