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Sunday, December 8, 2013

toddlers at sunset

i guard them with my hands
as they totter along
these ancient toddlers of mine…
every obstacle a potential fall-
every bump a potential hemorrhage

old bodies are bent
broken
scarred
stumbling along as organs fail

these two
my loved ones
require more care than my babes did
care that someday i will need
diapers
feeding
monitoring
watching

nothing taken for granted

but the decline is intense and anticipated
i see it in their eyes
the despair at their flesh failing them
the humiliation of every bodily function
a public event

and the shame and gratitude in their eyes
for the gift of our love
our gentle hands on their old backs and swollen feet
our bustling joy at serving them food
fit for their tender tummies

babes, they are, now
in the twilight of their lives
swiftly and slowly dying
in front of us
paving the way for us too-

so we give them what we can-
the gift of ourselves
and we smell the roses
rather than the rest