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Dorothy K. Fletcher


I noticed her
one day as I examined
all my sags in the mirror
It was then I knew—
the girl who had been me
was gone—kidnapped
into the cavernous valleys
of wrinkles and wattles
swallowed up by spreading waists
and hips and graying hairs.
As I looked deeply
into the eyes, I could
see her panicked fear.
I could feel her trembling
and sighing such a
quivering sob because
she realized that entrapment
really does come to pass.
If only I could let her out
as Michelangelo might free
his sculptures from cold stone,
she would be free
to run again across cool meadows,
to climb high trees, and
to dance with boys until
the night died in the sun's embrace.
Instead, I close my eyes
to her pleading
only to feel Death's
impatient fingers strumming
upon my shoulder reminding me
that he smugly waits
for us, his quarry,
to give up our fight
and be resigned to his
easy conquest.


Copyright 2009 by Dorothy K. Fletcher. 
Used with the author's permission.


Dorothy K. Fletcher retired in 2007 after 35 years of teaching high school English in Jacksonville, Florida. Her poetry and articles have appeared in nearly a hundred publications, and she has written and had published seven books. A former columnist for The Florida Times Union,  Dorothy has written six Jacksonville histories, the first sof which earned her a Preservation Award from the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission in 2011.  At this point in her writing career, she has moved into fiction. Her latest novel, The Chambermaid, is set in the 1564 colony of Fort Caroline, which was located in the Jacksonville area. Dorothy still livees in Jacksonville with her husband, Hardy, close to their children and grandchildren. Learn more about her here.


Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
How true!
Posted 06/04/2024 08:47 AM
I may only be 30-something, but have health issues that make getting through each day a challenge (to put it mildly). This poem expresses so much about the battle inside.
Posted 06/02/2024 11:51 AM
Ron Stewart:
We all would love to return to our former, younger, better looking selfs, but what we should remember is all the victories, all the incredible moments that made up our lives. The girl/boy you once knew is still there so cherish this moment. We have only one life to live and what we do today makes all the difference.
Posted 06/02/2024 09:36 AM
Darrell Arnold:
There is brilliant wordsmithing here. Quite impressive.
Posted 06/02/2024 08:32 AM
Larry Schug:
I'm not truly old. That's just a number. I was born once again this morning. I think I'll start my new life with a poem.
Posted 06/02/2024 08:31 AM
Glenda Beall:
Dorothy captured the feeling of ageing. My mind is still thirty, but my body forgot how to act at thirty. Great poem.
Posted 06/02/2014 04:42 PM
You've captured the feeling entirely!
Posted 06/02/2014 12:49 PM
Ross Kightly:
The end of this says it as well as the Sodden Centenarian said it: 'Do not go gentle into that good night'! No, Siree, you ain't gonna get us without we put up a lurching, reeling, unsteady-on-the-pins but still giving it everything FIGHT, Mr Death.
Posted 06/02/2014 03:01 AM
What wonderful imagery! You've certainly captured the truth of the child trapped within an aging body, like David inside that marble slab, only livelier: wanting to run across cool meadows. A joy to read!
Posted 06/02/2014 12:20 AM

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