Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Growing Older

Crepe used to mean paper in bright, streaming colors—  
transforming the gymnasium on prom night.
Now it means skin without suppleness,
wrinkles that don’t disappear,
old age creeping across my throat and the backs of my hands,
settling in the crooks of my elbows.

Sagging used to belong to the old summer camp mattress,
all its bumps and lumps gathered at the edges
leaving an uncomfortable droop in the middle.
Now it’s my middle that droops,
like the skin on my thighs
and the wobbly tops of my arms
and both sides of my chin.

Age spots used to be something my grandmother had
and then my mother.
Now my own hands are speckled like a hen’s egg,
like a pear left too long in the sun.

Gray used to be  
the color of storm clouds,
my father’s old army blanket,
the galvanized bucket in the pantry,
but not my hair,
not my very own hair which once looked
like wheat ripening in the sun.


Molly said...

What a dear, lovely face you have, young and old[er!]Pauline.

Tabor said...

I agree, both of the photos are truly lovely. I can see you. I like the words as they tell what we all feel.

Pauline said...

Ah thank you Molly - things keep changing day to day ;)

and thank you, too, Tabor - this aging process is interesting if not truly amusing...

Jingle said...

when you smile,
I want to smile too,
humor or happiness is contagious!

little hat said...

Lovely site pauline. I'm sixty and feel 30 - its the age that seems to represent me in my physical and mental prime. Still I love 60 as much as I loved 30. At last i am relaxed in my skin (skin spots, wrinkles and all), confident in most of my judgements and less afraid. And like you i am intent on continuing to explre my creative side - until 120? maybe not.

Pauline said...

thanks jingle

little hat - comfortable in one's skin is such a good thing to be!

Frank Baron said...

I still see that pretty girl. She didn't disappear. She just added wisdom. :)

Pauline said...

Thanks, Frank! What a nice thing to say!

Judith said...

Pauline, What a brilliant, witty, poignant (none of those will do, but it's early and that's as far as the brain stretches) description of what it's like!
Wonderful poem. Smiling beats sobbing, hands down.