by Karen Kelsay

She is frail, her veil of happiness is
replaced in turn by fear, then bewilderment.
Today, she presents a branch before
garden lilies, like a child might coax a parakeet
to perch. Beside the magnolia, where shadows
meet white geraniums she once planted, the caregiver
settles her in a wooden lawn chair. Uneasy beneath
summer’s glare, she retreats to confines of her bedroom,
where lamps cannot illuminate rose buds
or reveal the sycamore’s aging bark.
Her cat, once draped on her lap, lingers on the lawn;
she no longer remembers her daughter.
Only her husband’s voice can pluck
her from herself, like the last yellow blossom
snipped from a stranger’s yard.


For more about Karen Kelsay, go here (scroll to end).

4 thoughts on “Plucked”

  1. Lovely poem, Karen. Very melancholy and true to experience. I like the relation you bring to bear between the aging woman and the aging world around her, how the imagery of each subject folds into the other until the woman becomes the “last yellow blossom / snipped from a stranger’s yard” and all that’s left for her, really, is the final pass into death. Well and artfully played.

Comments are closed.