Monday, September 25, 2023


I recently revisited a draft of a poem I began in 2015, just a year into my widowhood. Quite often setting something aside to revisit in a few months has the effect of clarifying the work to its originator. I call it 'aging the words like wine.' Widow's Lament almost wrote itself upon reading its beginnings eight years earlier 



I’m not going to pick up the mail today

I’m not going to open the shades

I’m not going to give the neighbors a glimpse

Of my life as I live it today.

I hate the way they peer out their windows 

I hate the odd little questions.

How is it, my dear? Are you doing OK?

Let me know if there’s something to help with.

I hate looking out my window to see

Couples driving off in their cars

Friday night’s promise of lovely exchanges

While I sit watching TV.

I’m not going to pick up my mail today

I’m not going to open the shades

It’s none of their business what I do with my life

Now that my husband is gone.


I’ll brush my teeth

I’ll fix my hair

I’ll make the bed

And start some wash

Solitary confinement

Others have plans

Too busy to phone

I’ll walk

I’ll write

I’ll think

I’ll buy eggs

I’ll listen to music

I’ll fade of loneliness

Not Monday, a fun day

Not Tuesday, a muse-day

Not Wednesday, a friends day

Not Thursday, a hers day

Not Friday, a sigh day

It’s Saturday, a no matter day.

            Copyright © 2023 by Sara J. Glerum                  


Sunday, September 17, 2023

The Best Way to Shed Worry

One delightful feature in most senior communities is the easy access to a variety of activities. Without needing to leave the building, residents can participate in various leisure-time opportunities. In my community, there's everything from exercise sessions to lectures, movies to games, discussions and interest groups all under the same roof. 

My favorite is art. A talented artist, Everett, who works fulltime in our food and beverage division, leads afternoon art sessions twice a month on his day off. Anywhere from four to ten people participate, and the art studio gets really quiet for sixty-to-ninety minutes as we concentrate on what we're doing under his guidance. We chat very little as we draw or paint--which, oddly, is one thing that makes it so fun. It is relaxing to be concentrating on the matter in hand--a brush or stick of charcoal.

A few months ago, Everett introduced acrylics to us. For those of us new to the medium, the transition was challenging. The photos here show just one project in which we got to choose whatever photo we liked from a stack of colored landscapes and replicate the subject and color values with only the three primary colors plus black and white. What a challenge it was.

Whenever I take part in 60-90 minutes of this kind of dabbling under Everett's encouraging eye, I love the end result: how I feel.  I wash my hands and walk back to my apartment, noticeably refreshed and even walking with a lighter step.  I am unable to think about anything else while painting, and when the medium itself is new, it's like a vacation from all the thoughts typically whirling in my head. I rarely keep the result (i.e. painting/drawing) of the art session, but I keep its residual  effect for the rest of the day. The project keeps me fully engaged, and I love it.