The Unknown Other

With what does she sit in old age,
Her life filling with lost moments,
The ghosts of past friendships on stage
When her eyes lift to reflection?
She breathes the stillness, with stale scents
Of airless warmth marking her home.
Past struggles make gentle indents
In the turning afternoon’s dreams.
Can her imagination roam
To places the rest of us miss,
Fed by the passing years’ rich loam
Of striving and disappointment?
Or does the ache of old bones kiss
Away the pain of slipping out
Of events? Distant sounds of this
Buzzing world cushioned by deafness?
As I watch her, with all my doubt
Curling round my eyes, her enclosed
Perception, never free to shout
In celebration, fades dimly.
Or perhaps she can survive, posed
As absence but shrewdly present
Still, with all doors and windows closed
Untouched by the circling tempests?

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