The following is by Writers in the Grove member, D.K. Lubarsky.

I cannot mourn in front of my children,
I cannot share the sorrows and tears of age and illness
Nor cry from the depth of my heart
Nor speak of the profound and lingering losses
I cannot tell them of the pain I feel at times
They do not want me to know

I cannot mourn with my children
They choose not to see the shriveled arms and shuffling gate
“You are fine,” they sing in their frantic dance of life
“You underestimate yourself,” they call over their shoulders
As they race through sunny fields, flying off to catch their young
Leaving me far behind in their wake

Confident full-fledged adults, with steam engine powered muscles
Their throttles smashed forward against infinity
They recognize on some transient level, I suppose
That I am something else
A specter of the mother they once had
Tho’ purposely not examined too closely
For then they might have to acknowledge their proximity of loss
In their world of distant horizons

So I cannot mourn my losses with my children
But I thank God for my friends
Equal in age and weariness
We sit around the table stacking our wounds like poker chips
Unashamed confessions
Tethered with nods and sighs, handclasps and hugs

Learning from one another how to step forward
How to keep laughing
In spite of it all
To appreciate simple pleasures
And each other

We grieve and giggle on the same breath
Then breathe, grieve, and giggle once more.

And at day’s end
I come away stronger for their strength
So that I can return to the children I adore and listen as they say
“See, I told you that you were okay.”
Never comprehending how close to the edge
I was when first awakening to morning’s light

But perhaps I am better off
Being able to glean from their perspective
Knowing that for now, this very moment,
I truly am okay.

Young Body, Old Soul

The following is based upon the prompt Prompt: The Soul is Born Old, and written by Writers in the Grove member, Gretchen Keefer.

I could tell them so many things, answer so many questions, if I could only figure out how to make the noises they seem to understand. I have tried, and they respond with smiles, but they just do not understand.

When I am uncomfortable or hurt, I can make a harsh noise they respond to quickly. They make sure my physical needs are met.

Do they understand when I tell them “thank you”? I am grateful, even though this physical stuff is awkward, and challenging…and tiring! It feels good when they hold me, rock me, sing to me. I want to caress them back, but I still haven’t managed these limbs.

I want to tell them how glad I am to be here with them. I remember them from before, when we agreed they would go first and prepare a place for me.

I want to remind them that they promised to teach me all I needed to know to be successful here. Do they remember that?

Most of all I want to tell them that Father loves them and knows their concerns. He sent me here with a specific task…now I have forgotten what that was.

Every day I learn more and soon I will be able to tell them and show them so many wonderful things about where I came from.

Ahhh, where was that again?

Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer enjoys writing short family friendly fiction. She has always had scenes developing in her mind, when she is not occupied with family or events on the rural Oregon property she and her husband share with the dog, cat, horse and 20 sheep.

Prompt: My Yoni

Poem by Samantha Reynolds with image of an old woman.

The above and poem below is by Samantha Reynolds, with photo credit to Ritta Ikonen and Norwegian Photographer Karoline Hjorth.

My Yoni

I Am Not Old
I am not old…she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are imprints of my journey
Ask me anything.

Spend a moment gazing at the photo.  Consider the possibilities:

  1. Who is your Yoni?  Describe.  Tell about a time you spent with her.
  2. What does it mean to age?
  3.  Who are you?  Do others see you as you see yourself?
  4.  What lands on Yoni’s nest?  Who lives on (or in) Yoni’s head?
  5.  You are rare.  A treasure.  A map.  What are you, and where have you been?