Years ago, when I was a child,
When the world was young and magic-filled.
I used to gaze at my grandmother’s hands:
The skin grown loose, like an old balloon
With the air let out, and I wondered then
How it felt inside, to be so old
That your once-smooth skin no longer fit.
But I never asked. I was too polite.
(My mother’s views I discounted. She,
Bubbling with love, is perpetual youth
And therefore an anomaly.)
Now, having survived that turbulent time
‘Twixt adolescence and middle years,
I look at my own hands, long past youth,
Slowly becoming my mother’s hands
Slowly becoming my grandmother’s hands
Finding, to my amazed delight,
That the world is still a magical place;
That the child within is still just me.
And does it seem the same to you?
Or am I an anomaly too?
Janice Lewis Clark
Published in Our Own Stuff, 2002
Published in Retrozine, 2002