she waits . . .

elusive time
slips through fingers
like threads of gossamer silk

elusive time
disappears like dew drops
as sun steeps blades of grass

as sheaves of journal pages
covered in faded ink,
tear drop stains
softened by the years

journal pages
fingered tentatively
as she sits, mind wandering,
wizened body ensconced
in pale grey prayer shawl


I’m hosting the bar at dVerse today, a virtual pub for poets, and asking folks to write a poem with the word “time” in it; or a poem about a particular time etched in their memory. Bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. Stop by and imbibe some poetic words or take up the prompt yourself. We’d love to have you! Photo credit: Kristen Hultzapple.

46 thoughts on “she waits . . .

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) December 13, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    So wonderful, and sad.. time always seems to run too fast, so many things to do, so little time, and yet we spend so much time waiting.


  2. Victoria C. Slotto December 13, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    This really got to me. My sweet mom left me her journals and I’m reading them in small doses. So timely for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 13, 2016 / 3:27 pm

      I treasure the cards and few notes I have in my mother’s handwriting. The only handwriting, well really printing (since he was a draftsman) of my dad’s is on the back of a Christmas ornament he made for me. It’s hung every year, after I look at it and get misty, in a special place on our tree.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kim881 December 13, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    This is lovely, Lillian. The repetition of ‘elusive’ is really effective and the different ways time evades us: ‘slips through fingers’ and ‘disappears like dew drops’; And then you introduce the journals, so faded and so precious because they have been ‘softened by the years’. The ending is especially poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 13, 2016 / 3:42 pm

      Thank you, Kim. I always appreciate your thoughtful readings……So glad you like it. I’d been on a lighter bent since coming back from our trip….this one just took me another direction.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Grace December 13, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    Elusive it is specially for those whose memories are fading ~ I specially like:

    elusive time
    disappears like dew drops
    as sun steeps blades of grass

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 13, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      Exactly….that’s why I describe here as sitting, her mind wandering……Glad you enjoyed it.
      Memories fade…..even for the young.


  5. Pleasant Street December 13, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    It is snowing here in Illinois, and now near 0. I am sure you are happy in the sunshine where you are ^_^

    Lovely and sad, and daydream-inducing

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 13, 2016 / 4:17 pm

      “… daydream-inducing…” I like that comment. Well, truth be told, I’d love some snow in Boston. But we will fly to Chicago Thursday for an extended weekend family gathering. I’m told to bring my boots and very very warm clothing!!!


  6. Glenn Buttkus December 13, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    Sad without being devastated, tender to the touch–aging being our protoplasmic journal & paean to Time. I have a suitcase of old letters written to me by my grandfather over a decade. After he passed I was given a box of all my letters to him that he had saved–and so I have both voices–shout & respond. I envisioned writing them up in a book, but after a dozen poems about them being put on my blog eons ago, it has become just another unfinished project collecting dust on a shelf in my furnace room.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 13, 2016 / 4:23 pm

      hmmm….perhaps to be found in future years, by someone cleaning out your furnace room as they move in to occupy what was once your home….and then made into a movie? Or a best seller?
      Glad you enjoyed this one….I do wonder what will become of all my journals. It’s not like I’m Maya Angelou and the world would revel at the discovery! But — perhaps like you did with your grandfather’s letters, somebody in my family will riffle through and find a few ditties they like 🙂


  7. whippetwisdom December 13, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    This is beautiful and delicate Lillian, and like you say a very different part of you awakens here after your holiday. Although it may not always feel easy, it is these feelings that make us feel alive too. I found ‘tear drop stains softened by the years’ especially moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bryan Ens December 13, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    time yet to come seems to take forever to come…but time past seems but a moment…I suppose a bit like the doppler effect…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. paulscribbles December 13, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    I get a real sense of this ‘elusiveness’..the grasping at the un-graspable…lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Truedessa December 13, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    Time is elusive – the opening 3 lines sets the tone and the reader gets a sense of loss, I think you captured a bit of time

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 13, 2016 / 10:42 pm

      Thank you, Truedessa. A thoughtful comment.


  11. Waltermarks December 13, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    Time always gets away, I like how you compared her to a wizened older woman, wrapped in a prayer shawl. It has a depth of motion passing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 13, 2016 / 10:43 pm

      Thank you, Walter, I really appreciate your thoughtful and insightful comment.


  12. Janice December 13, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    ‘disappears like dewdrops as sun steeps blades of grass’…I love this line..the way it captures the passage of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 13, 2016 / 10:44 pm

      …time can really slip away….Glad you enjoyed this.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa) December 14, 2016 / 12:46 am

    This is absolutely gorgeously penned, Lillian ❤️ love the repetition of ‘elusive’ and oh “sheaves of journal pages covered in faded ink, tear drop stains softened by the years” is especially poignant❤️

    Lots of love,

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 14, 2016 / 7:47 am

      Ready for my coffee and reading others’ posts in a bit. So glad you enjoyed this one.


    • lillian December 14, 2016 / 8:22 am

      Thank you so very much. I really appreciate these kind words, and especially pointing to the last two stanzas where the poem narrows in on one person and time has passed her by..and she is filled with so many memories that skirt around in her mind, but she is alone now. One of my favorite images of my mom, in a photo taken by my nephew, is of her, sitting in an old rocking chair outside his cabin in the woods, and she is wrapped up in an old woolen blanket…by the looks of the trees and ground around her, it is probably a late fall morning…the kind that is crisp and cold outside. I found the photo in her drawer after her death. And the blanket just reminded me of a prayer shawl. So, thank you again, for your comment here. 🙂


      • carob hush December 14, 2016 / 3:01 pm

        Thank you so much for sharing this. I can feel your heart opening up to let me inside.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. lynn__ December 14, 2016 / 9:12 am

    A beautifully melancholy muse on the passage of time and thought…those last two lines are perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 14, 2016 / 9:17 am

      Thank you, Lynn…..It’s been so good to read everyone’s different take on the word “time.” For me, somehow, this melancholy mood came over me….Glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Misky December 14, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    You might have meant it to be melancholy but I found it uplifting – I could see myself in that scenario, and not all tears come from sadness. My tears are from joy or happiness more often than not. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 14, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      I agree….I love looking back at old photos, baby books. Memories can be happy and sad. Many times I smile through old memories. For this person, in this poem — perhaps she’s wistful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Misky December 14, 2016 / 3:21 pm

        Yes, wistful. I prefer to think that.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. katiemiafrederick December 14, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    SMiLes mY FriEnd.. Lillian..
    first thanks for the timELy
    prompt as Christmas Now
    suRely IS A never land
    and never ending story
    oF Love
    by StiLL
    noW timeless
    iN ages oF our eYes..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 14, 2016 / 4:40 pm

      So nice to see you again Katie. We were gone for 40 days to Australia, Singapore and New Zealand so it’s very nice to reconnect!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 16, 2016 / 8:46 am

      Thank you. So glad you enjoyed!


  17. Kay December 15, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Such a lovely poem, Lillian. Not sad, exactly. Maybe wistful nostalgia is more the feeling I got. Sobering, too. Time seems to quicken as I age, pages turning more rapidly. A lovely reminder to make each ‘right now’ the most powerful and positive experience we can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 16, 2016 / 8:47 am

      For me too – in terms of time passing more quickly now.
      Thankful for every day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kay December 16, 2016 / 8:50 am

        Me too! Happy holidays, Lillian. 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Mark December 15, 2016 / 10:35 am

    What a great theme…time! The elusiveness of it is eloquently described in your words, and the opening lines of the last verse speak to me especially

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 31, 2016 / 10:51 am

      Thank you, Mark. Truly appreciate your words here.


  19. lillian December 16, 2016 / 8:51 am

    Thank you, Mark. We sure got a lot of varied responses to this one. Re-reading the beginning of my last stanza gives me pause – I wonder if anyone will read my journals when I’m gone? So many words poured out on the page. There is something satisfying about fingering those pages and seeing all that ink 😊


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