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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Self-Portrait in Old Age

I am sticky brown rings on the pantry shelf 
where cans of tomatoes have rusted through.
I am the rancid pancake mix, 
the wrinkled parsnip in the vegetable bin.

I am bath towels frayed at the edges, 
bedsheets wearing thin, 
a rusty black sweatshirt I’ve worn for years, 
a drawer full of stockings in packets, unopened, 
elastic already shot.

I am the odd collection of medical stuff 
at the back of a bathroom cabinet.
I am boxes of family photographs 
and pieces of fabric saved for some project 
that’s never taken shape.

I am dust on the books read long ago,
and piles of new ones teetering high and higher.
I am the wavering text of the book on my knee
and the soft grey fleece that wraps me for a nap.

 

                                             -Maureen Eppstein