Their Ancient, Glittering Eyes, Are Gay.”
“Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,
Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.”
Her head turns in greeting, but there are no words—
Just the broadest of smiles upon a spring day.
I’ve come to see what dreams are left for us
As expiring stars shoot from the sky above.
Her hand does the tap-tap-tap on chair’s arm
while the Chieftains play Bonaparte’s Retreat.
Her days of wearing the green are almost done.
The plaint of the Ave Maria and Danny Boy
flicker about us in the air like dying smoke.
I place my hand upon her wrinkled neck
And, pulling near to her ear, whisper a prayer.
I’m not religious, but the words are benediction
for the days when she gathered the world
for us in our raggedy pants, our snotty noses,
giving us good love but also the steel spine
she’d acquired through much melancholy.
Precious gifts found under no Christmas tree.
The veil drops slowly as sleep sets her free.
With a kiss on her cheek, leaving time away.
But as I turn to leave I cannot help but see
Her eyes, her ancient glittering eyes, are gay.