In the aftermath of an instance walks a lone specter.
Everywhere he gazes, he perceives a public of the dark ages.
Sun bounces everywhere in the antique bazaar of gold-greens, alizarin crimson, and bronze.
In front of him passes a sightless old woman.
She is mindful of him in her slow, deliberate movements, bringing him back to humanity.
Her life is a mystery that has passed through a channel of human struggle.
Today is her 98th birthday, she cares not of the struggle.
She appreciates that she is alive in this world, and is barely aware of the lone specter.
She knows not that he is a man in his thirties. She perceives no difference in their ages.
They are alive, each demanding respect in their own way. He as a powerful man, she as an old woman.
She remembers her earlier commanding self in an age of bronze.
A couple watch over the vendor of brass and bronze.
They deliberate their disagreement of the day and linger in struggle.
It was about his mother, a tetchy, ancient, old woman.
He feels stranded and ensnared between them. In their midst, a lone specter.
She feels virtuous and indifferent to the demands of their ages.
Their plight is a communal complaint of humanity.
What is it that gives humanity?
Is it our perceptions, wisdom, and understanding protected in bronze?
And what of the artists, the singers, the actors, and the performers over the ages?
The flamenco dancer who worked hard to get to the top, and what did she get for her struggle?
No one knows her now, as she walks through the marketplace, a lone specter.
All dressed in her finery, she danced with style and grace. Now she is but a delicate, fragile old woman.
The work-hands don’t notice the people, let alone an old woman.
They are absorbed in their tasks and their repartee is a whole other side to humanity.
They don’t see themselves as lone specters.
At sunset, they are looking forward going to the tavern with a purse of bronze.
Hopeful it will be sufficient and worth all the struggle.
From their lives their toil will wear in the ages.
The young man didn’t recollect the last time he had been to the marketplace. It had been ages.
He went there on an assignment for the charismatic old woman.
To get her something to ease her discomfort and struggle.
His youth and compassion offer hope for humanity.
His pensiveness, willingness, and intentions are wrapped in a skin of bronze.
We are all lone specters breathing through the ages.
From relishing the power and bronze of our youth to facing the vulnerability of an old woman.
In our humanity, we regale, we travail, and we struggle.
Through the ages, we are repeatedly reminded of our humanity.
From the young child to the old woman, our lives are built in bronze.
Melded in love, creation, toil and struggle. In the chaos of life, we are each a lone specter.
Joanne Dennis (November, 2015)