the frail man was declining fast,
i was hired to care
and try to find out if he had
some family somewhere.
he didn’t speak in english;
whatever i would ask,
he’d answer in some foreign tongue,
intensify my task.
“ne signifie rien”, he’d say,
the few times he would speak to me
or “δε σημαίνει τίποτα”
which only sounded greek to me.
i asked about relations
who might come in for a visit
while searching for some photographs
whose subjects might elicit
some response that i could use
to find his long-lost kin.
the frail man only watched me
with a small off-putting grin.
there had been speculation
of a sister in Nevada
“das bedeutet nichts”
he’d say, and “no significa nada”
the old man passed away today
can’t figure why i’m crying.
i’ve been at this far too long,
seen so many dying.
i’d just got back from starbucks
where i got us both a venti,
i asked again if he had friends
“non significa niente”.
i thought i was immune to death,
experience was numbing,
but when he died, with his last breath
he whispered “this means nothing”
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by life-of-pix , courtesy pixabay.com
Daily prompt – frail
this verse exists thanks to the lingual assistance
of the woo, jill and
lucarna (who also moved this verse to the top of my to-do-list;
see his amazing Spanish translation of this verse)
and here it is mingling with the Daily prompt – elicit
and the Daily prompt – translate- while i work on something new
if you liked this you might like more wordplay
or more reality