Lifeline

Photo by Michail Reshetnikov

It was the little old ladies in tennis shoes
who saved my life when I was young.

They greeted me at the meetinghouse door 
smiled, shook my hand, called me by name,
sent out birthday cards every year.
I was seen and loved
just for being in this world, in their sphere.
No need to hide, no way to fail.

They lit a path ahead.
Youth was an uncertain affair
a tangle of hurdles and unknowns.
Middle age seemed just 
an endless load of work.

But these old ladies were indomitable!
They did what they pleased
in those sturdy tennis shoes,
seemed to be having a love affair with life.

I knew, if I could just hold on,
that I might too.

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