Another decade begins.

The knees
are going;
(the waist fled
two decades ago).
But I never thought

streaks of brown,
and hard to cut.

I am sixty
and have gnarled nails.

The body
has a clock
that is read
rather than

The body is

(Twig women
with hardened desperation
paint and dye
and live on
lettuce leaves.
But the body chronometer
can be tricked for
only so long.)

I suspect that more than
physical winding down
is universal.

joins omnipotence
and infinite possibility
in some abandoned nursery.

It is comforting to realize
that I am no more (or less)
trivial than wolves
or sheep
or schools of fish.

(What is the equivalent of
a fish's knees?
A wolf's sense of self?
A sheep's image of

I look both ways:
my children, in their thirties,
at some point
drew a line.
She did the best she could
they never said.
I know.
I saw my own mother
with those same eyes
and forgave her.

Then got on with
what was important―
the impatient next
the children with
their unaware
devouring demands.

Now, my mother.

Forgetful, fretful,
anxious or accusing?
I almost see an
infant's face
almost persuade myself
to give an infant's license
to this person replacing
the one I knew.

I look at her
and see myself.

it is a pity.

I remember
(or discover)
that at some point
I had my mother's

For one moment,
cresting time's tide
past present and future
the motes are dancing
bits of light.

Wenonah Lyon prefers fiction to fact, which is one reason she quit being an anthropologist except as a hobby. She generally writes prose rather than poetry. She reads both. She lives a blameless and boring life in Canterbury, Kent, England.

Recently my brother-in-law called and told me my mother died. I changed my plane reservations: my daughter married 21 June, my mother died 23 May. I thought about the two events, so close together, and wrote the poem.



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