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Parents Who Grow Old

Author: Suzanne S. Eaton

The slow rocking, long-drawn creaking, 
swallowed all sound and tore at my heart.
She rocked back and forth in sorrow.
Silence stuffed sighs and gasps in cracks,
and every squeak grew the lump in my throat 
made of words that would not emerge.

I ached to say something that would lift 
my dear mother from utter despair.
She rocked back and forth in hardship.
Her connections to life had one by one
been seized, leaving her to wonder
how could she ever go on, without 
mother, father, and now stepmother.

A gift to her childhood, this woman
who selflessly stepped in.
She rocked back and forth in reflection,
in the chair that rocked her long ago
when her own mother passed and her
new mother came forward to give her best.
โ€”how could she, too, be gone?

The rocking slowed downโ€”stopped momentarily 
as she wept with her face in her hands.
She rocked back and forth in mourning,
a realization too thick to acknowledge
accentuated the pain overshadowing her being
โ€”her words escaped between sobs. 
โ€œSome parents grow old, donโ€™t they?โ€

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