Walking Warriors

One cane in each hand, she’s doing the best she can
One foot forward, then a tap, she’s going to do a lap
At ninety-three, she keeps on going, while knowing
Her tomorrows are few, but she is determined to do
What it takes to feel alive, so she continues to strive
One foot forward, then a tap, she completes the lap

Clutching her belt, he guides, as they walk side by side
Cinched around her waist, it keeps her firmly in place
Unable to stand and walk alone, it’s how she carries on
Enjoying the sights and sounds, together, they get around
A couple, in their eighties, holding hands, walk steadily
For a severely maimed foot, she wears a specialized boot
Black and five inches high, designed to elevate her left side
Now when she walks, she has a certain pride in her stride

Her feet are bruised and swollen, but she keeps moving
One small step at a time, and questions why she bothers
A soft breeze brushes her face, in the wide open space
A reminder she is here, because she is facing her fears
Few people stare, as she struggles, but she doesn’t care
It used to hurt her deeply, but now, she only feels pride
For, she has never given up, and vows she will not stop

Her white cane tapping, here and there, he stands ever near
Holding his hand, shoulder to shoulder, they make a plan
To walk and have fun, gliding through the crowds, as one
They appear happy, enjoying the moment, smiling and free
Oh! These walking warriors graciously inspire, and move me

Photo Credit: simpleinsomnia Flickr via Compfight cc

Mary Penner

Mary Penner has written poetry since the age of ten. She has always enjoyed telling human interest stories through rhyme and has recently begun writing stories in prose form. For twenty-five, Mary was a social worker and educator specializing in family and school counseling. She taught in elementary schools and in universities where she designed and facilitated the Program Planning Course. Mary's poems have been published in three anthologies: including two of Polar Expressions Collections of Canadian Poetry: Let's Fly Away, in 2017; Overture, in 2016. Mary is also a contributing Author in We are the Wordsmiths: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry, 2017 (Albatross Publishing). Also in 2017, Mary was one of the adjudicators of the South Simcoe Arts Council's Creative Works Writing Contest. Most recently, Mary wast the Audience Prompter in the play Saving Grace: A Victorian Melodrama by a fellow Wordsmith member.

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