Rewind — looking back at poetry to older women now that I’m their age…

Written for Betty D’Auria when she was about 40+ and I was 26…

Fountain of Youth (for Betty)

Though the spring of your youth has bloomed and dried,

Your youthful smile lives on…

Though summer’s swimful mood has swept you by,

You swim effortlessly through life’s daily tides…

Though fall has finally come with its forest quilt,

You keep your head high,

Your walk vivacious,

Your voice as strong as the roaring, springtide stream

(Yet gentle as the creek where the swallows gather in the evening)…

Though long you’ve seen this planet Earth (or so it seems) —

This small, small world where we live our meager lives —

You see the shortness of life, how one brief live leads to another,

Passing the elations and disappointments to the next generation.

Do not despair, for we are not judged by those around us

(Or how they choose to respond to us);

Our judgment comes from a higher source Who knows our hearts

and has often carried our burdens.

He gives us a fountain of youth when all life has to offer is a drought of troubles.

— 28 June 1988

=     ==   ===  ====  ===   ==     =

For Betty

The choices we make in our delicate lives

Lead us gently throughout the day.

Though beset with coarse and dreadful lies

We bite our lips and find our way

Toward quiet, peaceful moments where

We briefly stop to sigh, and tell

The ones who haven’t yet to dare

To try, that all is never well.

The changes, troubles and evident trials

We face each day, that put us through

The wrinkles and gray hair, the short and long miles

We have to walk, and while we do

We raise our children, teach them love;

Attention we give freely despite

Our woes. Although we reach above

Ourselves, someone dims the light

And leaves us wondering where we’ve climbed;

No time to stop, we grope for holds

Within our grasp and wait. In time,

An outreached Hand of aged folds,

A Hand we’ve known though never seen,

Will firmly guide us up and shed

Our fears of those both cruel and mean

Who’d rather bring us to the dead

Than help us in our living. This Hand

We trust though seldom use has met

Our needs through the years. Our grand,

Ambitious plans cause us to fret

But welcome Arms embrace our tense

And worried lives to slow our pace.

Our structured lives built like a fence

Are held together by His grace.

— 7 March 1990

=     ==   ===  ====  ===   ==     =

Sunny Bonnet, Bonnie Sonnet

I give to you my only sun, my sun

Whose voice is sweet and low. The sound you hear

Within your heart and soul makes haste to run

Yet walks anew. Though now you seem to fear

Alone, you soon will find you’re in a crowd

And while you search and seek in vain to find

The other soul whose tenor voice is loud,

The one you seek waits here within your mind.

No sooner than a moment and you hold

That voice within your hand. Now wait, take note,

Don’t take a step! You think you’re quite a bold

And forward gal. Forget we learn by rote?

Let’s both sit down and kiss awhile. Before

We do, let’s take a breath and kiss some more.

— 12 March 1990

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