Gladys

She shudders in pain

As she plants her feet

The agony is real

But not in retreat

 

Gingerly she steps

To the tile bathroom

She puts herself together

In moderate gloom

 

She lives for today

That’s all she has left

It’s definitely not much

But it’s her own gift

 

She’s now in the kitchen

Sipping a cup of tea

She smiles so wanly

Her day yet to be

 

Her joints creak loudly

As she puts on clothes

But still stands proudly

Off to work she goes

 

It’s torture for her

But only she knows it

She wears her smile

Everybody loves it

 

She comes to a room

Back in her own space

Cries in bitter twilight

Being put into its place

 

She eats gradually

Her mouth still dry and sore

She sits at the TV

Her lover forever more

 

She goes to her bed

And turns out the light

Her sleep is dark and heavy

Like the shadowy light

 

She dreams of amber pale

And gentle “I Love You”

Another lifetime ago

When she knew life anew

 

There’s no one for her

They’ve all left and gone

But like the climbing sun

Her black days go on

 

© 2017 Valerie Hathaway

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