Photography by Michael K White
Nothing in Nature is Ever Lost
She slips from old age into dying
like the setting sun.
Only slowly does she notice the change
as those around her fall silent.
An old woman’s loneliness.
She long ago abandoned the belief
that God’s eye is on her as on a sparrow,
but she still puts the best of herself
onto the enduring pages of her diary,
confessing her sleeping potion
of lukewarm water with shots of whisky
and her dreams of dark shadows flitting by.
But when the stars dim
and a faint pink line brightens the horizon,
and her dog nudges her to be let out,
she makes her way
to the crumbling backdoor steps,
folding her aging flesh beneath her
and sips soothing tea through her thin lips.
Her teaming garden,
bougainvillea cascading water-like over the fence
is not a bad place to contemplate dying,
birds stirring in the bushes,
dragonflies skimming the grass
sweet with dew as though rinsed by tears.
She inhales the scented air of wild mint.
When she tilts her head back
she can see the sky,
and only slowly pulls in her wings,
knowing that the earth is gentle to all living things
that fall into her embrace
to be harbored and to await germination
for the annual rebirth.
I used to bold from bed
as if my bag of duties
had to be delivered
before the sun had dazzled through the mist.
Now I move over to you
on the pillow next to mine
and curled around each other
your warmth finds its way to my skin.
We let the cock crow several times
with the day slowly waking,
we roll out together,
hips wedged like leaves glued by the morning dew.
…Grow Old With Me
The Best Is Yet To Be…
It’s hard to believe that promise
when aging’s afflictions begin to weigh on us,
the failing body, the forgetful mind.
But if we are lucky
we’ll have someone to fold washing with,
long sheets needing two pairs of hands,
stretch right, pull to the left.
The heart will not be deterred,
forever yearning for a companion
to share the ordinary
with lightness as dusk descends.