Sitting alone, in a dimly lit room
She brushes her graying hair
From her face and sighs,
Scrutinizing her reflection
In the window as the rain beats.
Her dulled eyes fill as they do so easily these days.
Even she can see their sadness
That concerned friends comment on,
But only amongst themselves,
Too afraid of hurting her but unsure of why.
They feel her pain,
But she has distanced herself now
So it goes unuttered.
Her heart has forgotten how to feel.
Emotions so hidden for so long,
Guarded to the point of dissolution.
Memories of strong emotions are like fleeting dreams
She’s unable to grasp the wholeness of them as they fade,
These glimpsed fragments of the way she once was.
When did she become so sad…
She shifts uncomfortably in her chair.
An unconscious action, more from the thought
Than the position.
Lost in melancholy,
Drifting through each day soullessly
Each one harder than the next it seemed
To her jaded, tired mind.
What happened to the girl she once was…
She muses, running her fingers over tired eyes.
Reminiscences about a time
When she was full of fun and laughter
The spontaneity, the passion for life.
She can barely remember her…
That fiery spirit now quashed,
Rising briefly and flaring occasionally,
But not the same substance to it.
Now barely a flicker.
Harsh words have replaced kind ones.
Unkind looks instead of smiles.
She finds it hard to recall what happiness feels like.
It has been so long.
Her reflection looks back at her,
The lines on her face accentuated in her mind.
You got old, says the reflection.
Not in your body, but in your thoughts.
That girl is still there.
She remembers the way you were.
How to laugh and have fun.
How to enjoy life and take things as they come.
How to give and receive love.
But she is submerged
Drowning under the weight
Of real and imagined responsibility.
She can hardly draw a breath.
The reflection leans closer,
Looking into her eyes imploringly.
Set her free again.
Release her chains of burden
And she will return.
The reflection wags a finger at her
But smiles softly.
Live again for yourself.
Obligations are your choice alone.
Life is to be celebrated, not endured.
Freeing your mind is the first step.
The woman considers this carefully,
Running her fingers through her hair
As she does in times of nervousness.
Could she do that?
Think of herself first?
Be the person she was and wants to be
Instead of this shell?
She rises up from the chair and goes through to bed,
Feeling the loneliness engulfing her.
But as she lays down, exhausted again,
She is smiling, the way she used to.
As she drifts off to sleep, she knows she can.
Her slumbering heart awakens joyfully
At the thought of new beginnings.