My elders always said they felt younger than their
Age, although exteriors showed passage of time.
Similarly, as I approach my 8th decade,
I feel 35-or-so years old--half my age!
During recent trips via public transportation,
Others offered a bus seat; sent my luggage
Ahead rather than my trudging down airline
Passage, tugging bags via my own energy.
Proudly flaunting my salt-n-pepper hair undoubtedly
Contributes to others' perceptions and assumptions of
Advancing age and progressing physical limitations,
Projecting their mothers and grandmothers onto me.
Although I appreciate considerateness and respect,
I am astounded by being treated like a little old lady.
Despite aching knees and early-evening fatigue,
I continue to feel vital, energetic, and capable of
Great things: complicated and creative endeavors,
Jam-packed social calendar, and long reading lists.
Like recalcitrant children, self-perceptions lag behind
Actual alterations and reality-based bodily changes.
Only ten years younger than my mother at her death,
Perhaps I can receive an occasional helping hand.
Ann Beth Blake
(c) August 25, 2014