I would not want

to see her now

age will surely

have taken its toll

though she swore

her regimen

held her tight to youth

all the benefits

yet to be seen

& if I could

I would instead

imagine her lying on me

under me

in the early morning

holding on to something

we were sure we had

until life took its toll

I would not want to see

what could not be unseen

beauty thinning

fading golden skin

changing to lace

tolls paid

looking at a family photo

not my family or my photo

the man eyes bright arms around his kids

grandkids all together & smiles

the wife separate by about a foot

half smile side on to show the slim

emphasise the gap between her

the kids grandkids extended family

& I thought long

on her strength in holding herself

apart

to keep anyone else

from crowding in

& the toll that must take

on her

& all the family