Treasure Island

Valsa George

Frozen Grief

In the Church, I met a woman so old
Bending under the weight of years
I wonder what made her steal my attention
Was it her struggle to hold back her tears?

In spite of her frail stooping figure
She seemed to have an indomitable will
Defeating all infirmities of age, she stood
With a face though sad, yet tranquil and still

Strange enough, she recalled to me
The determined, but decrepit old man beside the pool
Whom Wordsworth had once encountered
Gathering leeches, though scarce, with a mind so resolute and cool

I watched the woman humbly prostrate
And feebly rise and straighten her aged form
Surrendering herself at the feet of God
Imploring grace for life’s little tasks to perform

In her gnarled hands, she firmly held a prayer book
With the other supporting her frail figure on a staff
And with a sigh of relief, she left the church
As if her afflictions were reduced to half

As the Congregation dispersed in all directions
She feebly walked to her accustomed haunt
At the rear side of the church was a Cemetery unkempt
Where the ancestors slept, devoid of all cares and want

Among all the tombstones in marble and granite
Erected in memory of the kindred dead
There was a newly dug up grave
That stood aloof as a heap of mud

I watched the old woman approach this spot
Where she knelt down with a calm demeanour
Her withered hands clasped together in piety
And her eyes closed in silent prayer

With a convulsive motion of her lips
She rose up and once more knelt down
As if searching for a face so dear
Whose memory she could never ever drown

Within that mound, slept her only son
Who died in his prime, a month before
Leaving his widowed mother behind
To brave the shafts stinging into the heart so sore

As Time by seconds and minutes ticked away
The bereaved mother stood up at last
And heavily yet quietly walked away
Leaving behind the one who was once her own part

*** *** **

While the wounds of the young are quickly closed and healed
And their ductile affections entwine around new passions
The aged withdraw to the silence and desolation of life
Once when deprived of the love that life no more sanctions

Submitted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Edited: Friday, July 26, 2013

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  • Patricia Grantham (7/3/2013 2:35:00 PM)

    A very poignant and thoughtful write. Grief never really thaws out
    it just melts away very slowly and therefore the mind is never
    free. The aged are especially vulnerable to this sad event that
    must eventually happen to all. Thanks for sharing this one from
    he heart.. (Report) Reply

  • Chandra Thiagarajan (6/27/2013 11:51:00 AM)

    The portrayal of the life of the sad mother is so poignant and touching that one cannot finish the reading of the poem without tears. SUCH IS THE DISPLAY OF FROZEN GRIEF ! KUDOS, VALSA! (Report) Reply

  • Yasmeen Khan (6/27/2013 3:35:00 AM)

    A very heart-rending and gloomy picture is emotionally drawn and imagery helps the mind to see the figure moving before the inner eye. (Report) Reply

  • Unwritten Soul (6/26/2013 10:02:00 AM)

    Detailed, emotional, and creative...oh thanks for sharing your sight with us, so the story here_SOul (Report) Reply

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (6/24/2013 8:23:00 AM)

    Tragedy of life: the hope and the faith can do a tremendous work to ease the grief of any kind this is the patience those keepeth keepeth Lord very nice write heart touching (Report) Reply

  • Om Chawla (6/24/2013 6:27:00 AM)

    A very poignant and moving narration. This is the fate of very many elders in our society especially because of insensitive wielders of political power who are more concerned with filling their coffers than creating a socially caring infrastructure. (Report) Reply

  • Danny Draper (6/24/2013 4:58:00 AM)

    A precise series subtle observation composed with gentle care, for we can only imagine the weight that others carry, sorrows and losses. The palpable aesthetic of the 6th verse was outstanding. (Report) Reply

  • Kavya . (6/24/2013 4:58:00 AM)

    a real story portrayed in a very touchy manner...loved the style of writing (Report) Reply

  • Hans Vr (6/23/2013 9:47:00 AM)

    Moving, really moving.
    A sad story reaching so deep
    Very well written. (Report) Reply

  • Dinesh Nair (6/23/2013 7:06:00 AM)

    Madam Valsa,

    You watched the woman humbly prostrate
    And feebly rise and straighten her aged form
    Surrendering herself at the feet of God.

    And here I scribble to add,

    I see there in the eyes of the Almighty
    A cold look that has ever been excused
    And your eyes got wet as you vowed to tell
    Her story to us through these lines.

    The write has portrayed an episode in the life of a widow lost in grief
    And stands for a poet`s concern over her plight. Thanks... (Report) Reply

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (6/23/2013 5:41:00 AM)

    Superb style n presentation. The story is unfolded in a very fluent way and it reminded the title Quite Flows The Don. Congrats. (Report) Reply

  • Siyabonga a Nxumalo (6/23/2013 5:13:00 AM)

    Great poem Valsa, indeed there are many like her and my aunt is one of them, she's turning 85 this year....
    Thanks for sharing.
    Siya_! ! (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (6/23/2013 4:45:00 AM)

    Beautiful story Valsa, very sad, and there are many like her in the world. They struggle on through old age, alone with their memories. (Report) Reply

Read all 20 comments »

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