Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A reflection on aging

I have had occasion of late to be thinking a lot about the aging process. A family member is struggling valiantly with the circumscriptions and debilitations that are, inexorably, part of that process. Perhaps for that reason, this morning’s reading by Garrison Keillor (on NPR’s The Writers Almanac) struck home. It is entitled, ‘A Sonnet for Mary’

The old lady who's walking along Concourse A
Rather slowly in front of you, is making her way
To get on a plane to fly to Denver
Though she is in pain, she won't complain ever.
She walks all bent over. She's 91.
But her sister died and there's work to be done.
She must bury her sister and clean out the condo
And see to her niece who's retarded, sweet Rhonda.
There's a funeral to arrange, words to be said,
And her brother is useless, he's gone in the head.
Stuff to be cleaned out, a condo to sell,
And a 50-year-old child who can't care for herself.
She's an old lady who's needed out there.
She's heading for Denver on a wing and a prayer

by Ralph Edwards
(Read on the air and printed on The Writer’s Almanac website with permission of the author)


Post a Comment

<< Home