Staring Oceans

Wrote this for a creative writing class where the prompt was to describe a picture of a person and then write a story about the person in the picture, in only a page or less. Enjoy. =]

Staring Oceans

They stare at you
Through the wooden edges of the frame.
A snowy plane lines his cheeks, bushy and misshapen
Like a wild plant, growing this way and that,
Thinning here and there like his life.
Soon it will all be gone.
So will he.

But he is still there for now, and he smiles at you,
His bright blue eyes sparkling,
His niveous beard a tangled mess.

He looks at you in such a happy way—
But such a strange way.
He seems to be calling you,
Inviting you.
Perhaps he wishes to tell you a story.
The twinkle in his eyes gives it away.
Yes, this man has a story,
A story he wants you to hear.

Every day you see him come to this place.
He brings with him a fishing line and a flag.
An American flag, displaying it proudly as he goes.
You see him tie the flag to the pier,
And you watch it wave in the wind for a moment or two.
The man watches with you, and smiles again—
Pride for his country.

He tells you how he had served in the military,
Proudly bearing his uniform for four long years.
Through trial and tribulation, he made it through.
He made it home, when so many of his friends didn’t.

You want to rush up and give him a huge hug—
To tell him it’s okay.

But you don’t.

You realize he is hurting,
You see it in those ocean-eyes of his, staring kindly at you.
Yet, his smile remains. He is poor, coming here every day for his nightly meal of fish.
Yet he does not complain. He simply smiles at you with his wrinkly face, and you smile back.
And you both silently watch the vast ocean spread out before you.


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