In a cottage by the wailing sea, 

An old man, a poor man,

Wears his coat nearly seventy years old,

His deathbed made two weeks early,

Fresh linens draped over the pillows. 

He sat, somberly satisfied,

Raspy coughs churning in his belly,

A visit,

Maybe one last visit to a special place. 

Somewhere he needed to go.

Poor man, rich man,

He smells the air ‘round him,

Takes in a breath, realizing,

He is at the train station,

Pen and paper in his pocket,

Waiting and watching for the right time.

There is nobody who can find him,

Seek out the man who is sitting at the park bench,

Lost in thought and focused at the same,

Wondering what his family will think,

A pen and paper in his pocket.

They will be mad,

They will be confused,

They will be greedy,

They will not understand,

Why this old man is at the train station,

Sitting on the bench watching people rush by,


A queasy feeling overtakes his body,

Out of nowhere, the man feels shock,

Poor man, he doesn’t have much time left,

He leans over in pain,

Finds a girl with a hot towel and kindness,

Finds a girl with a plastic bag in her pocket,

Ready to catch hopes, dreams, and puke. 

There is a girl with an angel face,

Blond hair, cherry lipstick smeared across her lips,

High tops and the latest cheetah spots leggings,

And a devilish heart.

There is a girl with a lopsided grin,

Shoes that run way too big,

Short hair and studded glasses,

And a heart made of love.

When he wakes up, he looks for his paper,

His paper and pen in his pocket,

But it is in the hands of the girl,

Who is reading it with sadness,

And looking at him with hope. 

It isn’t for long that they lock eyes,

Old man, young girl,

Becoming friends in a matter of minutes,

Forgetting about the pen and paper,

Watching each star break through the evening sky. 

“Who are you”

A question he will never answer,

For if he does she won’t understand,

The baggy clothes he wears,

Uneven haircut done himself,

And the raspy coughs he could’ve taken medicine for. 

So when she asks,

A basket of breads handed to him,

He pretends to listen and nods his head.

The poor man has a rich family,

Fancy homes and fancy boats,

They ask him to come along,

But he has stayed away,

In a cottage by the wailing sea,

Away from their nosy eyes. 

Sometimes in tough situations,

They tell him their life stories,

As he’s passing by,

He gives them advice with open arms,

These are the poor man’s treasures,

Gifts he would like to share with the world.

Once upon a lifetime,

There lived a girl who was taken away,

Traveled and moved around the world,

To help people, to heal people. 

She took her bags and left her home,

Loved her homeland and loved her world. 

But she still worked to make the peace,

Found her way to a small town by the sea,

And found an old man, poor man, rich man,

In need.

Now they sit,

In a small house with other patients,

All of them ready to be taken care of,

Listening to the sound of silence,

And wanting to understand each other,

And a part of themselves they just discovered.

“I need to tell you something.”

The words come out of his mouth confidently,

Then snakes around each patient,

Each one thinks of their own family,

All the things they’d want to tell them,

And the girl finds herself being called.


Sadie leaves and doesn’t see him,

And he calls out to her again.

A dry cough comes out instead,

Then another,




He dies a poor man with a rich heart,

Or a rich man with a broken heart,

With an unfinished will left in the pocket of his trousers,

He dies an old man,

An old man with a happy life. 


She is on the beach,

Palm trees swaying,

The beach swirling around her,

Whipping her hair around and around,

Till she finds his cottage and smiles a big smile,

Remembering his kind words,

His loving heart and unfinished will,

All that was missing was a name. 


Nobody could understand her grief of a man she hardly knew,

Or her confusion of who he was,

Why his last name was the same as her own,

For she was an orphan,

A lost seashell floating on the beach,

But it gave her hope,

Her name, Sadie. 

This man she hardly knew had given her hope. 


When the moon lays down her hands in exhaustion,

The tide ripples to a smooth surface,

A family comes down the shore on a boat,

A family who has forgotten a man has lived here for eighty years.

His family has come for the will and the will only,

The will of a rich man?

The will in Sadie's pocket,

Along with a ballpoint pen. 

Two kids in fancy clothes smell the sea and it rejects them,

Making them flee the sour smell of the cottage,

And its wailing roar.

He is here, they all scream.

The ghost of his name that Sadie remembers.

She looks at the family from far away and watches them run away.

He is here, they shrill,

Their voices not being heard over the roaring ocean,

A storm brewing above the clouds,

A family,

His family,

Runs away screaming back on their yacht,

While Sadie smiles again because of a man she hardly knew.

He. Is. Here. 

Mediocre man, 

Poor man,

Rich man,

Kind man,

Mysterious man,

Generous man,

A man who found someone at the station, 

To give all his gifts with all but a name,


Inside the house, there is nothing but a box,

Inside the box another piece of paper,

Written on the paper are three words.

Thank you, Sadie. 

September 04, 2020 15:44

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Charles Stucker
21:16 Sep 07, 2020

Managing a thousand words of poetry is an accomplishment of its own. It's very elegantly done and you managed to catch all the typos before they hit the page. I really can't suggest any improvements.


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The Cold Ice
04:51 Sep 16, 2020

Good story.


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Avery G.
22:01 Sep 12, 2020

Wow, this was good. It was sooo well written! I loved it! Great job!


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Genevieve Taylor
21:59 Sep 11, 2020

Woah this is soooo well-written! I love your style, and your word choice was impeccable. You did a great job on this one. The repetition of the word "man" was beautifully done. Fantastic story! Stay safe and keep writing, Vieve


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Anshika Goyal
15:35 Sep 11, 2020

Hi owly, this is a beautifully written poetry. Writing poetry, and that too, of more than a thousand words, requires true talent. I love the way you wrote it, I hope I can manage to write like you. P.s- can you check out my recent stories?


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Yolanda Wu
07:08 Sep 10, 2020

Wow, this was such an amazing poem! I love reading poetry, but wouldn't say I'm much of a poet myself, I'm a bit hopeless in that department. But you pack so much into this poem and had me reading through to the end, so intrigued. I loved your characterisation of the old man at the very beginning, and that ending was just heartbreaking. Wonderful work!


10:57 Sep 10, 2020

Thank you all so much!!


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P. Jean
19:46 Sep 09, 2020

Amazingly fine...in form and substance ...the best I’ve read since I joined this group! Congrats. Loved it!


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August Jett
14:49 Sep 09, 2020

This was incredible and poetic. So well written! I can't wait to read your other stories! P.S. I play viola too :)


14:56 Sep 09, 2020

Really, that's so cool! The viola is so much better than violin...:)


August Jett
15:01 Sep 09, 2020

Haha yess.


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