Saturday, September 29, 2012

Here, Briefly

I have been enmeshed in my life as Nini to the Bean who is growing rapidly and is soon (we hope - baby #2 is now officially 9 days late) to become a big sister. I've been dividing my time between there (mostly) and here (least-ly), with little time to write, but Murr Brewster's very funny post put me in mind of a poem I wrote when I first noticed my "new" old self in the mirror. It's not funny, as Murr's is, but at the time I wasn't amused. In an effort to keep up I'm sharing it below.

                                                               Then...



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.

Now...

14 comments:

Molly said...

Everything sags and droops and fades with time, but our spirits don't have to. We all know that the young you, with the wheaten hair, is still in there! But I wouldn't mind at all sitting down for a cup of tea with the "now" you. All that wit and humour and wisdom....not such a bad trade! Good luck with the new addition.....

Molly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pauline said...

Molly - when I'm next in Florida, perhaps in March or April, let's plan that cup of tea!

Brian Miller said...

ha....considering some of my students have nicknamed me santa claus...you can guess the state of my beard at this moment....where is all this grey coming from...surely i am not getting older....smiles...

Out on the prairie said...

I so enjoy being a grandparent. I laughed when a commercial came on for an age spot cream, I looked at my weathered hands and wondered how much. LOL

Kerry said...

I loved Murr's funny post, but I also think this is superb.

I like you in both of your pictures.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Too many things sag, droop or just stop working.

3wks from grandfatherhood.

Beverly said...

I have removed all of the mirrors in my house!

Judith said...

I loved your poem, but hate Blogger, which --- as frequently --- lost my comment.
It was something about the rueful humor of your charming poem, and how age enhances that ruefulness that is an amalgam of acceptance and contentment and serenity (as well as the wrinkly stuff).

Murr Brewster said...

Well, you actually make me feel better about the whole venture, and not just because you were so generous as to link to me. I look at your "now" picture and think, there's someone I'd like to know! So maybe we're both full of *it* to complain. (We are, of course.)

Pauline said...

Brian - your poetry is better than Sant's though ;)

OOTP - I'd need dozens of jars of the stuff. But my hands look just like my Mama's and that comforts me. Makes her still here with me in a way.

Thanks, Kerry. I've given up trying to look 16. I have a wonderful life and I'm happy. Things can just sag for all I care!

JCN - congratulations! Be sure to let me know when the baby arrives and tell me how your heart capitulates!

Beverly - thanks for stopping by and reading :) I loved your Bee Haven post!

J - I know you don't like blogger but I tried switching and didn't like it :( Thanks for your comment repeat. I always enjoy hearing what you think of what I write.

Murr - complaining can be such fun, though! Your posts always make me laugh out loud. I hope it was ok to link without asking - I thought of it just now (another problem with aging - my mind has gone south, too!).

Murr Brewster said...

Linking is always, always good. Stealing without attribution, not so good. We love the links. It's sweet.

Friko said...

Ah well, that's how it goes. So long as the sense of humour grows in direct proportion to the shrinkage of everything else, who cares.

Your eyes look mischievous, that's good.

Barbara said...

Oh, I love this! You are still beautiful, of course, now as then.