Ordinary Time

Chuck Styles fineartamerica.com

Chuck Styles fineartamerica.com

The old man

Stepped inside

Where I waited

With impatience

For the barber to finish

Cutting a loud man’s hair 

Even before he sat down

Paul asked how he was

Not well he said

My wife died on

Saturday night

After 57 years


The old Viking

Laid his clippers

Onto the counter

Eye glasses in vest

Stepped to the old man

To embrace him with a hug

So huge & tender it’d make

Most grown men weep

Any man I know weep

Yet spoke no word

Gushed out of

Ancient wells


Ordinary time

Liturgists call it

When the graces

Of sacred epiphany

Unfold so spontaneously

In the unadorned sanctuaries

Where people sets tools aside

To take up tender touch

Love’s incarnation

God in a smock

Under a photo

Of a halibut


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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8 Responses to Ordinary Time

  1. SalvaVenia says:

    Perfect case study. :)


  2. simply beautiful – you are blessed with the ability for soulful observation


  3. Cheryl says:

    It’s a small moment, with huge implications, tenderly observed and shared by you, with all of us. Thank you. Your poem brought tears to my eyes and images to my mind of people I’ve known who would have done the same thing and those who should have done the same thing.


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