Monday, August 25, 2014

PUBLIC AGING

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

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