she walks slowly, proudly
carrying her years as tenderly
as a small child, holding them
to her well worn breasts

her breasts which lovers once caressed
and cried or stared with wonder
at their roundness and warmth
her years have made them ice

her lovers all are dead or
seeking warmth and comfort
in other eyes than hers
eyes that cannot know

that love and lovers are a summer
dream that disappear before
the icy rains, the sudden freeze
the revelation of a winter night

she walks slowly, proudly
this woman of grace, into patterns
of light, ecstasies of ice
silently into stars and
quietly into the somber night

©  1992 J.L.Stanley

Woman of Grace