Her Age Advances on Her

"Once I prided myself on my memory.
Now all that is lost."
She plucks at her sleeve, looking wistful.
She cannot recollect the fall,
her accident, the surgery.

She presses uneasily on the weft of time.
It will not hold her.
She slips through it, as if through a sieve.
Her memory's in pieces.

She's gotten lost traveling down a road
she's been a thousand times.
Familiar landmarks appear strange,
their order confused.

Years past loom large; last week's a blank,
like a cloud fallen to earth
covering everything in sight,
at once holding in rain and breathing it out.

in the early mornings,
          as she lies in bed
thoughts will visit her,
and she feels almost normal.

When she rises, the gaps appear.
"When I turned eighty, I was elated.
Now it's all so altered-
not better or worse, but different-
I couldn't have imagined it."

With less, she takes less for granted,
her once prickly self-absorption
smoothed to tempered gratitude.