It Came as a Question


It came as a question,

a challenge really—

how would you describe yourself?

A warning—

don’t ask this of an old woman

unless you want to sit for a while,

drift for a while,

sift through life for a while.

Yet there it was,

hanging in the air,

winking from the page—

how would you describe yourself?

I am like a well-worn shirt,

used to being useful,

washed and worn

again and again,

now soft and comfy and saggy baggy.

I am like a faded flower

that was once bright and lightly scented,

and now perhaps more interesting,

a browning, curling shape.

I am like a warm loaf of freshly baked

homemade bread,

like a pillow fluffed with feathers

where the cat sleeps,

like cream that softens the coffee,

like the dance that has no particular steps,

like the wren singing,

perching, pecking for seeds,

like a blanket around bent shoulders,

like my father’s eyes,

like my mother’s lips,

like the song that searches for its next line.

How would I describe myself?

I’m the candle in the window at night,

a silent sign to those who’ve left home

that the light is still on

and the door is always open

for you.

– kh –


Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.


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Text and photos © 2024 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.