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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.


In 2007, Dorothy K. Fletcher retired after 35 years of teaching English in Jacksonville, Florida, and discovered life as a writer. Her poetry had already appeared in 78 literary journals, magazines, and anthologies when she became a monthly columnist for the Florida Times-Union. A collection of those column essays became the book, Remembering Jacksonville and, since then, Dorothy has published 2 more books about Jacksonville—Growing Up Jacksonville and Lost Restaurants of Jacksonville. She is now tackling the job of monthly blogger/columnist for BUZZ Magazine with “Dining through the Decades.” Dorothy and her husband Hardy continue to enjoy retirement with their children and grandchildren nearby.


Post New Comment:
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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