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Anticipated Grief

Updated on November 12, 2015
AudreyHowitt profile image

Audrey is a poet, classical singer and voice teacher, recovering attorney and licensed psychotherapist.

"Childhood" by Wissam Shekhani; black ink on paper.
"Childhood" by Wissam Shekhani; black ink on paper. | Source


For National Poetry Month #12


Anticipated grief

accompanies the steep incline of age

and the slow decline into infirmity—

an abyss

I cannot contemplate.

I cannot see my way,

nor feel my heart slip

between my fingers outstretched

nor touch feet to earth

without trembling.



copyright/all rights reserved April 12, 2012 Audrey Howitt. Do not use or copy without express written permission of the author.

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    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      And yet, I feel so young! Thank you so much Vellur!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      I came back to read this one,you have expressed growing old so very well. Voted up as always.

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Theresa! I so appreciate your kind comments!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Sad, melancholy, but so beautiful. Each word is perfectly placed. Theresa

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you raciniwa--sorry that my comment is so late--

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Jamie--hope all is well in your world!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Victoria! I feel so behind right now--

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 

      6 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      heart tugging, yet you always evoke that emotion in me Audrey...

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      6 years ago from Reno NV

      It is worse when you see it coming. Jamie

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Blossom!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you ImKarn--and yes, I actually do think there is always a bright side!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I don't know that your poem needs any more at all. It succinctly says it all, making me almost tremble myself at the end. As someone else said, so much is packed into so few words. Brilliant, really.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      A dear little poem and so succinct. It's just as well that one has the experience of years with which to have the strength to face old age. Of course, that's always ten years older than whatever age I am.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      aging and ailing are certainly not for the weak! I find that with age i am losing my eyesight - which means i can't see my wrinkles anymore! See? There's always a bright side? omg..sigh..Awesome poem, Audrey!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you homesteadbound! I know exactly how you feel--I used to think that 56 was old--not anymore!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Hey Ann! Thank you! I do embrace it all--I will bet you do too!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Katrine!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Frank!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Gypsy Rose Lee!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you GoodLady! And thank you so much for your comments. I think your analysis of the tone of the piece as it is, is correct. It does delve into the fear of death for me. And when I wrote this piece, I was contemplating the future death of my dog--she is my constant companion--and so, adding to this piece --feels premature in some ways---but your comments raise another issue for me that I think is open to discussion for me and maybe for other writers.

      I think I don't tend to sit on my pieces long enough for other possibilities to percolate fully--and this may be once such example. Certainly, your comment raises this question for me, and so I really value your comment.

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Vellur! I am glad that you enjoyed it!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you so much AE!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Realhousewife!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      The older I get the more I realize how old I am not at this age. Does that make sense? Getting old is hard because you have to give up so much. But when I was much younger I thought 53 was old. Now that I have hit 53, it is not nearly as old as I thought it would be. Maybe now it makes sense. Your poem has got me to thinking.

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you so much for reading time2rite!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Nell!!

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 

      6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      No! I refuse to accept it! It's not sad. Think of the wisdom. The Grandkids. The Travel. HubPages?

      Embrace it! Love it all, even the pain. It's a gift!

      Audrey, there you go with your thought provoking hubs again. I think I like you.

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you eclectic!

    • AudreyHowitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you writer20. There is always much joy and much sadness in a full life I think---and perhaps it is important to experience both fully--

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 

      6 years ago

      Very well done Audrey, short and right to the point.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      wow.. this was so well done it's amazing how you're handling the 30/30 and so far not a slip... bless you

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and your words express so much it touches the soul Audrey.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      AudryHowitt this, I think, is the beginning of a longer poem, (if you will accept my feedback kindly). It is a very good initial verse about the thoughts of decline into death. Two more verses of this journey, describing the fear and then who knows what (possibly acceptance, or non acceptance of it, or who knows which way the poet's mind will blow!) would, in my opinion, make it a very very good poem. As it is, 'Anticipated Grief' provokes feelings and thoughts and perfectly describes the fear of death successfully enough, has the tone but then (I think) it begs for more. It's like a lone, mourning, trumpet note in a cemetery, but the note needs more. Please, take us there. Please.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      A poem written with a sad tone, yet beautifully written.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very touching, very deep. Awesome!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Voted up and beautiful and interesting!

      So few words and yet so much meaning!

    • time2rite profile image

      Kathryne Waller 

      6 years ago from Knoxville, TN USA

      This wistful poem tugs at my heart as I think just how quickly time goes by. This is a beautifully sad poem, Audrey, and you presented it in a very unique way; awesome job!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Oh Wow! this says it all really. I believe we all feel this as we get older, awesome poem, voted and shared!

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 

      6 years ago from Tennessee

      Bittersweet. That's the word that comes to mind after reading this. Voted beautiful and up! You are awesome!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      This poem is sad yet wonderful. Voted up, Joyce.

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