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photo by Charley

I spent part of my childhood in the home of living history — people I referred to as “Grandpa and Grandma,” although they were not in any way related to my family.  They never were mindful of growing old; never embraced the idea of “graceful aging.”  They were only in their nineties after all!  As I listened to their lives’ stories, I took in the amazing beauty of their parchment faces and hands.

This is for them.


My skin is paper.

Once was fine linen.
Inked scratches —
falls, bumps, scrapes.
Lines of epic battles
waged against antagonistic

It turned in summer
to rice paper’s burnt umber
haiku that faded

‘Tis parchment now,
homemade, rough.  Writing
is difficult to read across
such an imperfect surface.

But memory holds
what cannot be read
of the better, happier writing.





19 thoughts on “Parchment

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