He wandered lonely in a crowd
Of people rushed, of restless feet,
When suddenly one stooped and bowed
Came into view along the street.
He thought, as he was passing by,
"Is that another lone as I?"

For many others in that throng
Seemed full of life, and not downcast,
And chatted as they walked along,
Or nodded greetings as they passed.
But he, a stranger, was not known,
It seemed none cared, he felt alone.

The stranger drew along beside
The old man stooped with lifelong care,
Who seemed a little mystified
That this unknown had time to spare;
But he enjoyed each friendly word,
Such conversation rarely heard.

And as they strolled along the street,
At first just passing time of day,
They found an empty kerb-side seat,
Then found more serious things to say.
An open heart, a listening ear
Shall often bring a sad soul cheer.

For burdens shared are burdens halved;
The old man's spirit had been buoyed,
For it was now no longer starved;
A stranger's care had filled a void.
The stranger, too, had found a friend,
His loneliness was at an end.

© Tom Chapman 2010