These days, those days

rearview mirror crop “These Days Those Days” by Sharon Rauenzahn

A hundred years ago
I’d have died in childbirth
Five hundred
I might have been a nun
Or died, probably
Of an ear infection gone wrong
Or something vaccinatably
Preventable
So when my mother
In the profound certainty
Of later years
Shakes her head, says
“The way things are these days”
Or even better
Tells how this country has gone
Down hill since
Her days
Those days
Without flush toilets
Or a hospital to go to
When her own mother nearly died
Of three days labor
For a fourteen pound son
Undiagnosed diabetes
When even white help
Had to knock at the back door
Unwelcome
Mom, are those the days?
You nearly died of Whooping Cough!
But these days
Even on the good days
Remembering days
She sees it all turning dark
And so will I
And so will you
When those days are these days
When I am old and certain
That these days are the
Last days
When the strange woman in my mirror
Tells me I’ve lost myself
I will wish it all back
To the past I live in now
Those days, these days

Aug. 31, 2016

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