PORTRAIT: A PROUD WOMAN

She was struggling to push her tricycle toward home

very early in the morning..

it’s rear basket held some groceries.

She inched along the roadside, looking as if

she soon would fall, just barely keeping her balance.

I became a walker offering help

but she demurred, with thanks.

The grocery store is half a mile away

and I sense that this might be her only way

to procure things for her sustenance,

Those who drive their golf carts ‘round this village

go back and forth quite easily to acquire their needs

and those of us with cars do likewise.

But here is one who works her way along the road

and there are none like her, as far as I can see.

Old — bent — heavily clad on a warm morning

she plods with minute steps refusing help.

So I pass by carrying home with me

images of the woman proud and dealing

with the contingencies of aging in her own way.

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