In Praise of Aging

(Photo: Bob Muschewske/

(Photo: Bob Muschewske/

In praise of buses rattling through the streets
In praise of passengers jostling for a seat
In praise of a transfer I didn’t need to buy
In praise of snow falling from the sky, and my down coat
Bought secondhand but warm

In praise of hips creaking in the wisdom of my years
In praise of sneezing, runny nose, and tears
In praise of vision dimming and yet wide
In praise of knowing what I can’t do and why
In praise of unlimited possibilities
With choices made one by one

In praise of the walker I no longer need
In praise of someone rising to give me a seat
In praise of movement each time I must go
In praise of fast and immediate turned to slow
In praise of loving what I have and letting go
Of what is already done

In praise of parties where I left too soon
In praise of dancing beneath the silver moon
In praise of youthful folly when I was dumb
In praise of turmoil; at least I wasn’t numb
In praise of a life full of stories, full of snow, full of sun
In praise of feeling I have really just begun


Wendy Brown-Báez is a writer, teacher, performance poet, and installation artist. She is the author of Ceremonies of the Spirit and Transparencies of Light, and her prose and poetry have been published in numerous literary journals. She has performed her poetry nationally and in Mexico, in cafés, bars, galleries, cabarets, and community centers. Wendy is the creator of Writing Circles for Healing. She received McKnight Foundation and Minnesota State Arts Board grants to present writing workshops for at-risk youth and for nonprofits and is a member of the Minnesota Prison Writers Collective. She is the writing instructor for the after-school program at Face to Face Academy in Saint Paul, where she is kept on her toes.

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