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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.


Published: November 14, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

The summer was drawing to an end

and she was finding it hard to say farewell to the long days and warm air.

Soon she would be bundled up in a jacket and mittens,

the nights would be longer and colder.

Each day she would have to rise to a dark sky.

But for now she held on to the soft wind caressing her hair…

“I will love you forever,” she whispered into the dark.

An eager ear beside her shot back an assured “Forever and always.”

What had happened to that vow?

The years had become shorter

The moments of wonderment had came less frequently

Agile legs had weakened and then become useless

Then suddenly the term young was something used to describe them

“Who have I become?” she asked her wrinkled fingers.

They had once griped a steady young hand, triumphantly shouting

“One, Two, Three, JUMP!”

But now her wrinkled skin hung like an oversized dress on her knobby bones.

Turning her hands over she saw the snake like vanes that rested just beneath a paper-thin covering

Standing in the cold

Two strong arms wrapped around her proud shoulders

“You are the only woman I have ever loved,” The arms assured her

The words that had made her stop shivering

But now the words were a forgotten dream and the arms no longer snaked around her shrunken shoulders.

Looking once again at her weathered hands

she recalled the orcid they had placed

on the soft wet grass in front of a hard garnet barrier.

That’s what the grave was,

a barrier between her love and her life,

a barrier between her young eager self and the aching body she now inhabited.

Her eyes slipped closed and she listened

but he did not say anything more…

Only the sound of autumn echoed back through her memory.