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Brush Strokes on eighty 


Paint stroke #1


a shock of alone 

arrives in late evening

when there’s chill on the house

and silence lingers with cobwebs,

it doesn’t startle, doesn’t break open,

it stands still, face to me, stark

but alive and assured


seven beats of frozen silence

facing my self’s new countenance

reflected back in alone’s solid stance

i let go daily, but cannot revive lost loves,

cannot embody my disappeared agility,

standing side by jowl with another

does not assuage this solitary singleness


i am alone

my attentive children surround me

with pleasures of inclusion

but i live a secret 

they cannot share

i am alone

and we have settled in together

Copyright © Sharon Lopez Mooney, “Brush Strokes on Eighty”, originally published in The Cold Lake Anthology,  ed. Lauren McGovern, Janet McKeehan-Medina, Amy Place, Elaine Pentaleri, Nancy Volkers, Burlington Writers Workshop, Vermont, 2023

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