Dignity in Decline


dedicated to my mother-in-law, a tenacious, gracious woman

Where does she fit
when the energy and
drive of youth
is idolized
none willing to
concede all will soon

What happened to her life
those children
and initiatives
she loved with
every fiber of strength
she had?

Why is she required
to pay unusually
life-altering tolls
to the
dictator of
body, mind and spirit?

Who are you?
–the question
accompanying each
hello and goodbye
only to be repeated

Ah, my dear, though
mind seems fossilized
body compromised
your eyes
remain soft
with loving wonder
at each tender touch
every gentle kiss.

The whole world
an outsider to
your inner life that
never fades
reflecting grace–
sure proof
the visible’s
highly overplayed.

If you could but
share the wealth that’s
trapped within
what wisdom
would begin
to sparkle
while time
stands still.

When will the illusion
of dominance
melt before
the sacredness of
silence, even if
tethered to demise?

There is no thief
that can snatch
what cannot be
what will not be
Your unalterable spirit

© Julia Penner-Zook, 2015


8 thoughts on “Dignity in Decline

  1. Your mother(-in-law) must surely be all that you describe, Julia, to merit these beautiful lines. A mother is a mother, whether biological or acquired through one’s spouse, which is why I have relegated the in-law part into bracket. Regardless of how healthily we lead our lives, the twilight years may not be as smooth as we expect, as sometimes we may be tethered to demise by scared silence, as you put it. We just have to console ourselves in the thought that rest is silence…best wishes… Raj.

    Liked by 1 person

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