Aircraft carrier, Bookends, breadwinner, butterfly, cause, children, cocoon, coffin, cold, dairy farmer, death, doctor's office, emergence, encouragement, epitaph, evil, face, family, female name, free, freedom, friend, friendship, generations, grandchildren, great grandchildren, hard work, health, heart, husky voice, Korean War, leathery skin, life journey, lifetime, live, long life, longevity, Love, military service, mind, need, new breasts, nick of time, nurse, ocean, Old Friends, person, perversion, pervert, Poetry, privacy, protection, provider, risk, salt water, sanctuary, seawater, self-worth, Senior Citizens, Simon and Garfunkel, statistic, stealth, sun, sun tan, sunblock, support, Transgender, Transition, truck driver, true identity, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, understanding, valid, waiting room, warship, weather-beaten, wind, winter, wrinkles
Based on something I recently saw: name and location omitted to protect privacy. To know how much this moved me, understand that I am one of the least poetic people on the planet, unless it is set to music. To move me to actually write poetry is astounding. Don’t expect an anthology in this century.
They sat together, backs to the waiting room wall
Two seniors, the younger on the left
The face on the right was weathered and wrinkled
Those lines hinted at a life journey
Perhaps the first lines were etched by the harsh Korean winter
Or was it from the salty sea air on an aircraft carrier?
Back home, that face greeted many a sunny day
Disdaining sunblock and protection from the wind
Dairy farmer? Truck driver?
Hard work wrought to provide for a family
Leading to one, two, even three generations more
Never getting closer to the heart’s deepest need
The nurse enters and calls out a female name
It could be Barbara or Melissa or Linda or Sue
The weathered person rises with a husky voice,
“Can my friend come in with me?”
After all she has faced in life as “him”,
She relishes her friend’s support.
“Sure,” the nurse replies. The friend smiles,
“Just kick me out when you need to.”
The faint swell of her new breasts under androgynous clothes
She disappears into the sanctuary of privacy
One more step into emergence
From a cocoon that was close to becoming a coffin
She is not a statistic, cause or evil pervert.
She is a person, a life nearing a lifetime,
Risking her aged health and the love of family
To finally live a few precious years and die as she really is:
A Woman in mind and heart.
A day she never believed she would see is here
She is Carol, Jeanette, Elaine, Nicole
She is finally free.
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;
He will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy;
He will rest in his love,
He will joy over thee with singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17