In Her Dimming Eyes

It’s an ordinary day when

She begins to walk in my direction at the gym

And yet she catches my eye

This older woman with whitening hair

and dimming eyes

She clasps hands with a gentleman,

graying like herself.

What must it be like for her? To be

surrounded by those

younger, fitter, than she; those for whom

exercising is natural

and not yet the hard struggle that it

is for her?

Does she resent our youth, our agility that

so long ago abandoned her?

Does she see herself in the young women around her

and think, “If only they knew?”

Does she wonder where the time has gone or does she

treasure each remembered second?

She’s getting closer now, her eyes catch mine and

I can’t look away.

We share a smile as she passes by and for a moment

I can see it in her eyes

The young woman she used to be who has formed the

woman she is today.


Today’s poem was inspired by a real moment that only consisted of a few seconds at the gym. As I get older, I begin to be more aware of everyone else around me and I feel a grand sense of sonder (or the realization that everyone I see has just as complicated a life as I do with their own hopes, dreams, fears, and desires). When I saw this older woman, I felt instantly connected to her and wondered if she too had gone to the gym some 60 years ago, working out, trying to look her best for her future husband. Did she see older woman and wonder about them the way I wondered about her? I don’t know, but it was such an interesting moment, I had to write about it.

What about you? Do you ever see a stranger on the street and all the sudden realize that they are living their own unique life, they are not just a backdrop, but a real identity with wants and fears?

In other news, I’m heading off to my Bachelorette Weekend tomorrow! I won’t be on WordPress until Monday.

Have a great weekend!


© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

24 thoughts on “In Her Dimming Eyes”

  1. I always wonder that. Not only in the gym, but when I’m walking and see many people who are homeless. I wonder about how they could have ended up there and in what ways I can be of help.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice Kayla:) I knew a teacher once say when she is old she aspires to have long gray hair that goes to her back. This stood out to me because most people want to die their hair when they get old. And I love how you were impacted by an older person at a gym. We should never stop taking care of our bodies! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just beautiful, Kayla Ann… It so reminds me of my Mama when I stayed with her during her 74th summer. We would attend all of her Senior events and she would often smile as she reminded me that I was watching my future. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This happens to me all of the time. I get curious about stranger’s lives, wonder about their life stories. I relate to this poem because I too often wonder how people older than me perceive me. I wonder if they perceive me from the wisdom that I’ve yet to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this piece: your writing and the theme! I immediately felt I could relate to both of you – as I am perhaps in between both your ages. As an “in between” I can empathize with the plight of youth in the modern world. The competition and inherent anxiety for the youthful, and the frailty and discomfort that plagues the elderly. I can remember my taut younger physical form, yet see the subtle changes of (ahem) aging. I think in the smile you shared she was saying “I’m younger than you know within….” and how wonderful that you perhaps recognized this as your eyes met! 💜😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana, first off, it’s so nice to “see” you again! Secondly, thank you for this thoughtful comment, I love hearing another perspective on this subject. I think you’re right and that is exactly what she was saying and what many of us will say as we age. Our bodies will show it long before our minds will (I think, I still have a lot of learning to do!)


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