Windows

Little old ladies, especially those who dwell alone in
high rise apartment blocks,
are quite entitled to peer out from behind lace curtains,
with prying and often suspicious eyes on a world
which in their twilight years
is more and more passing them by.

Often the agéd and infirm can do little more than observe,
even those whose faculties are unusually well preserved
have a marked preference for watching rather than
participating in the game of life.

But younger women, and men, who spend all day sitting
in their windows
are not observers; they are defaulters.

Defaulters who have reneged on life,
for who but a fool or a coward voluntarily abdicates his youth
in order to pursue the pastimes of sad, lonely distrustful
old women? whose days are filled not with meaning,
nor with any sort of purposefulness,
But with mere shadows,
reflections of real people who live and love in a world
beyond two barriers,
one of glass, and one less corporeal,
yet by the same token, much less impenetrable.

[The above was first published in Wrong Side Of The River].

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