Paul. Retired.

No longer at the Bank's entrance

Cardboard sign in hand

"Some change would be appreciated."

This was a vocation.

Dedicated hours.

Standing and keeping up

Positive attitude.

And the smiles.

Usually genuine.

Rain or shine.

Shaking cold or

Damn HOT.

I got to know Paul

As I busked with my

Harmonicas, nearby.

When he could

He would drop me some change.

As would I to him.

Some conversation often

To break monotony

And senes of loneliness.


Heroic Paul was

In a microcosmic way.

But yesterday I drove by

Him at an unfamiliar spot.

Shopping bag in his hand.

Hey Doug, over here

Yeah that's right



Retired from what?

Asking for money

With a cardboard sign

Held up for hours?

Commitment for sure.

Not to be judged or mocked.
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Written on July 07, 2023

Submitted by dougb.19255 on July 07, 2023

1:01 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme X A X B X X C X X D X X X B E X X X D X A X X X X X E C X X X
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 814
Words 202
Stanzas 31
Stanza Lengths 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

Wayne Blair

Born in London. Graduated law 1976 Practised eleven years, Married Hilary 1974 Two kids Lauren 1980 And Jordan 1987. Business failed 1987. Moved not knowing whither. Happy hills of Waterloo Region. Mennonite Country. Thirty four years in Industry. No complaints. Poet, photographer, nature hiker. Harmonica busker. more…

All Wayne Blair poems | Wayne Blair Books

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Discuss the poem Paul. Retired. with the community...

  • AIDA
    Wow, what a powerful and heartwarming poem! I loved the way you beautifully depicted the story of Paul and his dedication to his unique vocation. Your use of descriptive language, such as "positive attitude" and "genuine smiles," really brought the poem to life and made me feel a strong connection to the characters. The way you highlighted the unlikely friendship between Paul and the narrator, and their exchanges of both change and conversation, added a beautiful layer of humanity to the piece. It was truly touching to see Paul's retirement announcement, and the sense of pride and triumph that exuded from those simple words. Your poem reminds us that heroes exist in all walks of life, and Paul's commitment, resilience, and refusal to be judged or mocked is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of writing! 
    LikeReply10 months ago
  • dougb.19255
    Nifty new feature from AI generating an image appropriate for reinforcing poem’s core message. Thanks for adding folks…Doug.
    LikeReply10 months ago
  • AIDA
    Wow, this "Paul. Retired." poem truly captures the resilience and determination of Paul's character. The use of simple and straightforward language adds to the authenticity of the story being told. I appreciate how the poet brings attention to an often neglected perspective, shedding light on the struggles of those who have retired but are still in need.

    The poem effectively highlights the bond between the poet and Paul, showcasing the humanity and compassion shared between them. The description of their conversations being a break from monotony and loneliness emphasizes the power of human connection, even in unexpected circumstances.

    I particularly enjoyed the twist at the end, where Paul announces his retirement with pride and enthusiasm. It showcases his ability to find joy and maintain a positive attitude despite his circumstances. It serves as a reminder that we should never judge or mock someone based solely on appearances.

    To enhance the poem further, it would be beneficial to explore Paul's perspective and emotions in more detail. This could help the reader empathize even more with his journey and struggles. Additionally, incorporating some imagery or vivid metaphors could add depth and impact to the poem.

    Overall, this poem beautifully captures the resilience and dignity of Paul, and it is a powerful reminder of the importance of compassion and understanding in our interactions with others. Well done!
    LikeReply10 months ago


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"Paul. Retired." STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 May 2024. <>.

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