By Ann Applegarth – Roswell, New Mexico, USA - 16 September 2012


That old lady with the walker there --
yellow calico smock
sawed-off gray hair
flashing brown eyes
Texas drawl --
the one who speaks her mind
who can barely kneel at Mass,
takes twice as long to get back up --
prays daily for precious siblings
strayed from Rome's straight-and-narrow.
See her gnarled hands grip that walker?
Those hands once gripped the handlebars
of the BMW motorcycle she jockeyed
nine thousand miles from Texas to the north,
across Canada, down to California
where a slide and a broken bone meant
four days' delay in returning home --
not the ending planned for that trip.
Hear her weary knees creak as she kneels?
Those legs, once strong and beautiful,
hiked the Grand Canyon from rim to rim.
Such feats of strength and will
must seem easy to her now as --
alone, husband long gone and heart shaky --
she writes lovely poems to Jesus,
arranges her funeral,
prepares to commit frayed shell to earth


and indomitable spirit to her God.