BellaOnline Literary Review
All in Red 1 by Mark Berkery

Table of Contents


Growing Old, Along with Her

M.Z. Fairtlough

Thereís a warmth about winter that suits her well.
The embers in the hearth glow from an old fire,
bringing life to her quiet face.

In the frame of the dawn window,
the bend at her neck seems at odds with the flowers of her cheeks,
like an ancient olive tree blooming roses.

Her hands, mottled and yet still dear, place our cups and plates,
old friends, rim worn, their pattern a memory of bluebirds
when the best was yet to come.

From her apronís mended pocket, she lays out our two knives and two spoons.
Scratched and dull, they tell the story I want to hear,
of the dignity of less having, and more loving.

Her scent is of violets when her patient touch reminds me of my jobs.
I poke the fire, add a log, and bring in the tray with white milk, brown toast, and yellow butter,
and the bright red teapot, a present from our daughter.

She sits down, and then I do,
and we unfold on waiting laps the age-soft napkins of always.
She smiles, then I do, and the silence is tender.

(With thanks to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning)

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