Thursday, October 7, 2010

In 99 Years

Her gray hair was thin,
tired of many years
of endless
combing and brushing.

The silvered strands
were expertly cut—
they could not have been
better cared for,
considering her
age.

She smiled for the lens.
Her mouth formed
a polished camera
facial expression.

She had been
on that side
of the lens
many times before—
it was apparent

as she was able to combine
a wry suspicion
with a pseudo-authentic smile,
making it all seem pleasing in the end.

There was a hard,
Eastern-European texture
to her face.

She had not chosen mud
and other beauty facial treatments,
rather had lived an adventurous
yet privileged life.

Her smile said
"I've seem much of life
in 99 years, and,
now it is yours
to enjoy and tend."

She work a black scarf
wrapped around her neck,
giving some dimension
to her very small body.

That sat onto
a poka-dotted shawl,
which was inside,
and partially covered by
another larger shawl,
laced with gold thread.

Her forearms and hands
emerged
from the third shawl.

The arms were larger
than one might expect
coming from
such a petit figure.

These (almost workman) arms,
as familiar
gardening
as editing books,
laid one upon
the other
in a warm gesture.

There was no tension,
but the weight of one arm
on the other
seemed a little more
than she could bear

causing her smile
now to tighten and
not seem
quite as relaxed
as her face
first suggested.

Her skirt exhibited
a similar
but darker dot pattern
to the smaller of the two shawls.

Her legs
appeared to be tired,
at 99,
as they struggled to
hold up her arms,

with dignity,
as a pedestal holds
tirelessly
a death mask.

Goodbye, dear aunt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A beautiful eulogy. H.