Life’s Journey

walking stick

 

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Her skin is frail and crumpled now

with liver spots and wrinkles

on that once translucent brow.

Those swollen legs and puffy feet

belie those time-worn snapshots

of a figure trim and neat.

 

And cloudy eyes and thinning hair

and whiskered mole and deafness

don’t mean she doesn’t care.

For she remembers, like a song,

a time when she was blooming –

fragrant, gorgeous, joyful, strong.

 

Evening in Paris, squirrel coat

and high heels, silken stockings;

glass beads, a graceful throat.

But that was then. These days she’ll dress

for warmth and ease and comfort.

Her socks don’t tease, there’s no caress.

 

She once had power: Do that! Do this!

Clean teeth! Wash face! she’d order.

All softened with a kiss.

But now her journey’s end is near

the mother turns to child,

and childhood memories are most dear.

 

Her inner strength still tells her: fight!

But mind and body let her down –

we mourn for one, one once so bright.

We want her back, we want to share

our lives again, the way we did

when she was young enough to care.

 

Jackie Williamson


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