A Poem by Betty Hermelee

Aging, cold, sudden



Her fingers freeze like icicles hang from the roof

spirit wreaks from cold and damp

frigid gusts whip around her shawl

The old piano collects dust

layers of gray webs multiply over the years

as her core shrivels with age

music that used to echo off the walls

light up the house

silent now that fingers cannot touch the keys

not even the ghostly


She sits in her rocker

warms her hands by the pot belly stove

still no melt of broken joints

all she wishes is to play her piano symphony 

she looks to the moon’s smile in dark

and asks for some earthly to help her

thaw her useless hands


Day’s pass, afraid she will lose them

alas, a knock on her door

she bids this person to enter

a lone man, shakes snow from his tattered coat

steps in, sits at the dusty piano and plays her melodies

she smiles, over taken by delight, pleasure of yesteryear

she slips into a coma, to her death



© 2021 Betty Hermelee

My Review

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So touching and bittersweet. This theme to the story is difficult to write into words without sadness entering into the equation. We reflect upon our own slow mortal demise. I remember a short story I wrote recently where an old sea diver suffers the same fate. One of the lines which stood out to me in that story was the opening qoute which went: A wise old man once asked of God, "When does a man know he has come to his end?" And he swore he heard a whisper in the wind say, "It is when he comes to realize he can no longer do what in life he loved." Writing conjures such thoughts and dilemmas. Your wonderful poem has done the same.

Posted 2 Months Ago

Betty Hermelee

2 Months Ago

Thanks so much Carlos for that very in-depth review, appreciated.
Best, B
What a sad story of aging. Particularly tragic that a musician can no longer tinkle the ivories as she did in younger years. Her hands were her living and now they are as good as useless. The ending briefly brings contentment till she slips into a coma, smile upon her face, never to wake again. Visual and heartfelt Betty. Lovely work.


Posted 2 Months Ago

Betty Hermelee

2 Months Ago

Thanks Chris for your lovely review ( as "always")
Best, B
Chris Shaw

2 Months Ago

A pleasure Betty.

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12 Reviews
Added on July 19, 2021
Last Updated on July 19, 2021


Betty Hermelee
Betty Hermelee

Black Mountain, NC

My love of poetry resulted from my love of art. As a painter I am able to express myself on a canvas. As a poet my words come from my heart, my moods, sometimes sad, mostly upbeat. I like to use vivid.. more..


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