Girl on the Trampoline
The girl on the trampoline next door
bounced up above the shielding fence
that makes good neighbours scarcely known.
She bounded up and into sight,
yelled, “Hey, old lady!” Who was that?
At first, I thought it wasn’t me,
but there was no-one else to see.
I heard her laugh in boasting glee
with some less vocal, hidden friend,
then, “Hey, old lady!” – one more shout
this time struck home and left me mute.
Some snarly, childish part of me
would like to voice a harsh rebuke.
How did that impulse bounce in sight
above the fences I thought high?
I know I’m seventy – that’s old,
but still I baulk – that isn’t me,
and “lady” I think might imply
attachment to some dignity.
To status I do not aspire –
a woman, earthy, unaligned
to powers that be (or wish they were).
Yet indignation reared its head,
and wanted to use adult power
to quell the boldness of this child.
Thank God I held my traitor tongue,
and questioned what rose up in me,
set it once more behind my fence;
but there I had to look at me,
and try to live the grace of old,
seek Wisdom Woman, elder soul.
Barbara Messner 6/01/2023
2 thoughts on “Girl on the Trampoline”
This strikes home — both the desire to still be bouncing and the desire to be seen as someone who could, someone who matters. And the repressing is such a good repressing!
Thank you for your responses which shows me that I am heard and understood, and which name what is shared.