A Gentleman at the Mall


A Gentleman at the Mall

I saw a wide eyed gentleman in our local shopping mall.

I couldn’t tell if it were blind indifference,

Or stupefying awe,


That brought his distant shuffle

To a slow indefinite



“I love Paris” was a shoe shop;

But, he alone, it seemed, knew the shoes were of a foreign quality,

In immediate contrast to the love labours of a french shoe merchant.


He would not be propagated with the metonymy and exposition

Of marketing midgets in bowler hats

—or so he imagined.


As he contemplated his late lunch,

He remembered.

He had skinned his fair share of venison,


But the eager student who had served him

Had only ever known the skinned package,

And a skimmed passage. You see,


He was from the generation of quality,

And it grieved him to watch the world change

Before his eyes.


His eyes like a refraction of stained glass empathy and wisdom,

Saw that the world had become

A lonely place.


In that moment he shed a tear,

Which he later blamed on his weak tear ducts,

For his grandchild that proudly held his weakening hand.


This was the love and hope

That held him together,

That one day she might carry on a tradition of quality,


And find a sunshine illuminate countenance

Contrary to the dull artifice

Of a mind phone,


And the quiet isolation

Of a social media



I saw a wide eyed gentleman in our local shopping mall

Who dared to love and hope,

For a world that confused and frightened him


—His granddaughter pulled him

Up the mellotron steps,

Into the sunshine music of his soul.


When then he disappeared from view,

I knew, I sat bequeathed in poverty,

Craving the richest viceroy of wisdom.


© Iain Sutherland, 2013.

Hands: Click Here


13 thoughts on “A Gentleman at the Mall

    • ah, thank you! What a compliment. I guess I can put it down to a love of words. I’m always thinking about words, tossing them too and fro in my head, and sometimes I’ve been known to obsess over them. Once I spent three months contemplating the word “Caprice”. 😀

      I’m so please your heart connected with this one! Thank you!!

    • Thank you! Yes, I’m always interested in multiple perspectives to a story. Isn’t that the reality of life? We all experience the same reality, but from our own unique perspective. I’m glad you pointed this out, I didn’t even realise I had done it 🙂

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