Old Woman Hair
Old woman hair, wispy cotton
to top a corrugated spindle,
turnstile for unending carts
of silver trays and colored pills.
Nearly a stranger, shadow within shadow
cast in some forgotten season,
dry twigs, barren earth, soft breeze
through inattentive lips,
all that remains.
Her hand - my greeting falls
through shadow slats between the fingers,
softness long surrendered
to this thin stretched parchment,
pale and brittle like failing bone, splitting hair,
the end of tears.
In twilight rooms, I gather all that remains,
frailty and memory. Together we listen for whispers
that linger from the days without walls,
when she danced with my father in tall grass,
raven-haired beauty, my mother who held me
skin-to-skin the length of all her summers.
© 2002 Anne Fraser