In one day my mother grew old.
She was no longer able to hold my hand,
stroke my hair from scarred temple,
and say, in the face of all the world’s weight and disregard,
that nothing was so important as I.
She was too feeble,
too near death,
too lost in memory.
Up until then, regardless of grey and thinning hair,
regardless of wrinkles and patchy skin,
regardless of the cancer hidden beneath,
she was young in my eyes,
and I, a youth before her.
Now, she is no longer herself.
And I am no longer part
“Old" ©1998, 2016 Tobin Mueller
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