The shadows swallow her whole, these days
as if she has been absorbed,
subsumed and desiccated.
Once, vitality was her constant companion.
She had glowed, incandescent, iridescent,
alight with youth and hope,
bursting with dreams as limitless as the universe.
Her brunette mane gave way to wiry grey
and frown-lines ridged her forehead,
her soft skin thinned and crazed with spider-web creases.
She packed her enthusiasm into a box,
gave her silks and velvets to charity,
discarded her perfumes, jewels and decadence
tucked her spirit away and faded into nothing.
The shadows swallow her whole these days.
The shadows swallow her whole.
48 thoughts on “Enervated”
Very vivid contrast between past and present in your poem, Freya! It made me wonder what had caused her to lose hope and forfeit her dreams. Food for a short story maybe.
Thank you, Gabriella. I think (in my mind) it wasn’t anything specific that wore her down, just a hard life which she let get the better of her.
it is sad to see the whole person fades when youth and beauty fades… i think partly it’s because of today’s culture…. the older people were honored and respected in former times
I agree – the culture of today in some respects is skewed towards youth, although I think the tide is starting to turn. Too late for this lady, though.
ugh. hard one…it feels as if she gave in to the wave…getting rid of the things that made her at least feel young and even have a hope of feeling that vitality…i guess on some levels it happens to all of us…do we deny it or embrace it…what do we choose to fight for…
Yes, I think she did give in, rather than fight against the tide. I kind of felt like that for a little while after my awful year last year. I’m back on the upswing now though – and still have all my decadence! 🙂
smiles. glad the pendulum has swung…
Me too! Thank you 🙂
Wow, this is a vivid picture of the kind of aging I don’t wish to do either. One cannot do much about one’s body aging, but it is sad when one feels one has to discard jewels, perfumes, and decadence. The last two lines of your poem were VERY strong, Freya.
Yes, it is sad – I don’t ever want to age like that either, and am determined not to, nobody should. Thank you, Mary, I appreciate your comments.
To read this is really sad.. it tells us a lot about why she fade… without really saying it.. what we do today to exclude is horrifying…
I agree – we are an exclusive society, in all the wrong ways…
So sad. “She packed her enthusiasm into a box” – that really captures the whole spirit.
She has let life defeat her – what a shame. Thank you, Bryan.
I like the contrast of the past & what she has become: The shadows swallow her whole.
What could be turning point or the reason for fading away, I wonder ~ Good character description too ~
I thought (when I was writing) that it was a cumulative effect, and a woman without ready resources to remain resilient.
Great poem Freya I did enjoy this. I think you touch on a very real problem for so many people the temptation to put away who you are and retire into a nothingness. sad that we don’t always see ourselves as contributing to society nor our community as we feel so alienated. Well done.
Yes, I think it isn’t uncommon to feel we have less and less to contribute, the older we get. I’m not giving into that, no way. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
And so the shadows do dear Freya – and so the shadows do. There are so many existing in the twilight and we overlook them all.
We seem to pay less and less attention to people, these days. Things need to change.
I love that this will not happen to you! But totally relate to this poem of vibrancy slowing and hair changing color…….those two closing lines are fantastically good!
Thank you, on all levels, Sherry!
The tragedy of aging and of the aged! Very true in many circumstances. Reading yours to that of Sherry, it gives a slight twist but of an opposite effect. Both balanced off perfectly in the real world! Great write Freya!
Sad and scary! Your words are vivid and convincing.
Thank you so much.
Clarification: Reading Sherry’s poem on the same theme at her blog not her comments above
Yes, I got that 😉
A sad poem about a sad person. A youth oriented society and ageism only exacerbates this type of situation. It is the person who counts. Some people never grow old and some young people are the most boring people imaginable. I wont say most because that would be non pc…LOL
I know old and young of both types, those born old, and those who refuse to grow old (good on the latter!)…
Life does wear some people down…takes the stuffing out of them and leaves an empty shell. I love the repetition of the lines.
Thank you, Ron.
Does actual aging or society’s shunning do this to people? Sad…but a good reason not to pack up the enthusiasm!
I think it’s society… My enthusiasm is safely ensconced in a society-proof parcel 🙂
The shadows swallow her whole..rather scary image and shadows can haunt..
It is scary, isn’t it?
The shadows that come with the old age. I can not fathom the intensity of aging as much as I nod along when reading your words. Interesting perspective and well-penned.
Thank you, HA. It’s a good job it happens slowly, rather than overnight – although I’m not going to let it best me!
lovely write. you describe her disappearance so well…bring her character (past and current) to life. and while at first it seemed like the affects of aging brought on the change, the lines about her packing, giving discarding and tucking away feel more like her succumbing to this fate…hmm…
She did indeed succumb. Such a shame. Thank you, rmp.
Poignant write Freya – I love how you describe her, slowly facing – like the effect of shadow very much here.
Thank you, Abhra.
this is so sad and delicate
Thank you. I don’t want to fade away like that.
no – the richness of our lives is added by the people who surround us
You left me wanting a Part II where the hope shines through and the shadows retreat. This has echoes of legends I have heard from Native elders, and how we lose so much when we let the shadows come over those who have so much to share. Glad to read, in the comments, you are on the upswing my friend!
Maybe I’ll have a think about writing a sequel, or opt for an alternative life for her… I think that the Native elders were much wiser than we are now.
Thank you so much for your good wishes too – I really appreciate the thoughts 🙂