Tag Archives: old age

About Being Lost

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

 As a different species,
 you were there
 in the beginning,
 leading the toddler
 clinging to the long hairs
 on the ruff of your neck
 out of the vast corn field 
 and into the arms of frantic parents.
 Then, in midlife,
 you led us
 out of the western wilderness
 back to the road—
 how glad we were
 to find a way out.
 Now, in old age,
 you are disappearing
 from our lives—
 a little each day,
 as a new wilderness
 looms on our horizon.
 Who will lead us back 
 to the road now? 


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry

The Silence of Old Men

by Thomas Davis

 As old men sink into their silence, words
Become entangled in the memories
And moments that are like a flock of birds
So dense in time and space they start to freeze
The meanings that an old man means to say,
Or be, or clarify to those who’d listen
As if he still had thoughts that might convey
Some sense beyond the silence of his person.

Inside the living room I watch his eyes.
I feel inside myself and try to hear
The silence as its heaviness denies
Old age’s bucketful of pains and fear —

And as I watch I know the old men in their silence,
Their frozen faces and their look of patience.


Filed under poems, Poetry, Published Books

Lesser World

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

I saw them
in strings,
making the shape of V’s,
Canadian Geese,

flying high enough
to use the lake’s edge
as their guide:
Blue-green water
with white foam
at the edges,
over rushes with dark red plumes
on their trek

For our world will
become lesser
without them,
not as full of life
as the wet summer
has been

while we wait
for the silent season
of winter—

and for the quiet winter
of our life,
a more diminished one,
a lesser world.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry