12/21/2013 12:38 pm ET Updated Feb 20, 2014

Finding Freedom in Poetry

In the last two and a half years, I've broken both hips, lost my house, lost the ability to drive, moved 2500 miles away to live with my daughter, and most recently, been diagnosed with lung cancer. The only thing I HAVEN'T lost are my marbles... although some days, at just-this-side-of-88 years old, that fact might even be in dispute.

Writing poetry for me is a way to recapture some of that independence I've lost... albeit virtually, by enabling me to fly freely here and there by way of my mighty pen... and through that journey, blow off a little steam, do a little venting and hopefully... give people something interesting to read. My poetry is a really important part of my life; an extension of who I am, really, at this stage of the game.

I wrote "Gone Love" about my late husband. I'm not what you would call a 'typical' griever...I don't cry or carry on in any way. This was my way of mourning his loss.

"Gone Love"

I wake up

In the morning

Or should I say mourning

For the nights are short

And the days are long

Filled with my own

Sweet, sad song.

For there's a hymn

But no him

Someday, the Lord willing,

I'll be with him once more,

God in His heaven

Will open the door

I wrote "About Face" several years ago. I was engaging in some type of mundane activity which I had probably done a million times, and was suddenly struck with how quickly time had passed.

"About Face"

What face do I wear, do I wear on the day
When I find that youth's face has gone away?

A face of surprise that it slipped away
While children and cleaning filled my day?

A bewildered look as I gaze at a man
That I no longer cheer from the Little League stand?

A bemused expression for a shapely young miss
Who wastes not on dolls the warmth of her kiss?

Shall I put on the face with just lips that smile
And eyes that look back all the while?

Will just the hint of a cynical grin
Distract anyone from the sagging chin?

No, says the mirror, you can try every act,
Not a damn one will hide the one true fact

That your children leave and your beauty goes,
The timing could be better, I suppose.

But I still have one man who loves me so dearly,
He pictures me neither honestly or clearly.

And my love matches his, so I can truly say
He sees only a girl on her wedding day.

I hold fast to that, for the others don't care,
Or even see the face that I wear.