She’s Not Confined, a Janet Barnes Tribute Poem

she’s not confined
she is life defined
bold, courageous

she’s led the trail
not fallen behind
she’s won the prize
defined the prize
she’s been the prize
she is the prize

she’s older, frailer
and sometimes discarded
but inside her there is no age
inside her no boundary
just the outside
hampered, labored

but if you could see the spark
the heart, the joy, the glean
the eyes, the beliefs

the things she wanted to do
the things she would have done
the things she could inside of her being do
and at times when her mind wasn’t confined
there she lived full–free
with all of what she wanted inside to be

those were some of the times I didn’t like
they scared the hell out of me
she took a break emotionally
I didn’t yet know the confinement, the bondage
the hostage position that so often presented its jail bars
in reality right there with her

a curb she couldn’t master–stuck
a shelf she couldn’t reach, a jar she couldn’t open
clothing she couldn’t put on
cold–blizzardy
out in the weather, in all elements
arms and hands turning purple in the cold
beaten down with rain
moving with that tiny little frame
reaching just what she could reach

but out of body, out of mind’s confinement–free
no wonder she longed to escape
and enjoyed those respites from reality

I know of no mortal person
that could survive, thrive and triumph her life
my mother, Janet Barnes–a 90-pound heavyweight!

August 29, 2011