Too many birthdays

by John Sautelle

“Too many birthdays…”

Slipping quietly

From pursed lips


Independence fading

Measured in feet

Tauntingly near

Now on their own

Beyond the reach

Of straining fingers


To a lesser role


Dignity stolen

Limb by limb

One movement at a time



Under cover of night


I watch on

Facing mortality

Anticipating needs

Silenced by pride

Choked by fear

Of what now is

And what will be


Redemption unexpected

With choristers nodding

Body straightening

Head held high

As voice triumphant

Coloured by glass

Stained with hope


Touching souls


Resurrection stories

Yet to be written

In each living moment


John Sautelle