by Michael R. Burch
See how her hair has thinned: it doesn’t seem
like hair at all, but like the airy moult
of emus who outraced the wind and left
soft plumage in their wake. See how her eyes
are gentler now; see how each wrinkle laughs,
and deepens on itself, as though mirth took
some comfort there, then burrowed deeply in,
outlasting winter. See how very thin
her features are—that time has made more spare,
so that each bone shows, elegant and rare.
For life remains undimmed in her grave eyes,
and courage in her still-delighted looks:
each face presented like a picture book’s.
Bemused, she blows us undismayed goodbyes.
Keywords/Tags: Elderly, woman, grandmother, thin, thinning, hair, airy, emu, moult, soft, plumage, wrinkles, laugh lines, frail, gaunt, bones, winter, grave, eyes, courage, laughter, family, gathered, bedside, kisses, hugs, goodbyes, farewells, life, death, photo album, pictures, photos, photographs
Published by The Eclectic Muse, Love Me Knots (an anthology of the top 100 contemporary love poems), Nutty Stories (South Africa), Black Medina, The New Formalist, Better Than Starbucks, Potcake Chapbooks, Strange Roads, Sonnetto Poesia, Litera (UK), Poems About, Poetry Life & Times, MahMag (in a Farsi translation by Dr. Mahnaz Badihian), Somewhere Along The Beaten Path (Anthology), Freshet, Life & Legends, Famous Poets & Poems, Short Quotes & Poems (listed in the top 10 short poems) and Victorian Violet Press. “See” won 3rd place in the 2003 Writer’s Digest Rhyming Poetry contest, out of over 18,000 overall entries, and was published in Writer’s Digest’s The Year’s Best Writing.