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Screaming, her mind, as a shaking hand reaches out to pick up a discarded something. A jumbled thought roiling around incoherently as tears mar her perception. Her fingers miss and frustration tips the balance of her little nothing. For a moment this morning she had felt peace, in the small hours when her eyes had only just fluttered open, and all was silent. She did not remember, oh in that ever so precious time-bend. Again she reaches out, this time with angry conviction, and is rewarded with a smelly bit of old cloth, needing to be washed, as usual… All attempts to ease her burdens, thwarted. A glance up reveals him, there, on the couch. Not looking. He doesn't notice what she is, or what she is doing. "Speak no words", his feeble thoughts, "lest my day you ruin." She had lain there in her comfy cozy warmth of sunshine and sleeping babies, and heard the blissful silence, and thought to make love. With her eyes she did caress, then hand. Now too far to touch, to hear, his uncaring silence ate at her heart with a pain that bent her, doubled her over with self shame, and hate. "This toil, this daily toil was all too much for one woman to bear, and so it was made for all. To share misery in numbers", She thought, as her eye caught her reflection. Defiance raged as dirty cloth flew, slamming like her rage, silently against the looking glass. "I see what you see, Little Man" her thoughts screamed, as cloth slid down to expose it, age. When her hand had reached him, caresses of love and lust, her worship unrivalled transmitted by touch. What recoil, what shock when he covered himself. All of him, all… no thought occurred. How disdainful this body, how unwanted this smile. How in disarray do we all stumble blindly onward hoping that our one true choice was, is, not in vain.
Many people have told me that the revelation of 'age' seemed unappropriate and not at all what they were expecting, so I will take just a moment to explain that here. This piece (as I wrote it) was about the frustrations of the mid-life woman, who was struggling to find one small iota of her previous youth and beauty. To her, the advancing of years was the crux of the problem. Would her husband still love her if she were not laden with responsibilities and bitter? If her body were as it was when they met? Would he still be interested in how she felt? 'Age' here is synonymous with the passing of time so much so that all that was before is either gone, or a fleeting memory. BUT, I encourage you to see in this poem what you will, as I try not to dictate a poems intent:)
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