Fading into shadows

Read Write Poem is having an ekphrastic extravaganza this week, thanks to the talents and generosity of poet and artist Rick Mobbs. Over at Sunday Scribblings the weekly prompt is ‘Ghosts’.

Portrait of Nanda, by Rick Mobbs

“Do you know who I am?”

seeing him

across the street

I fix my gaze elsewhere

inclined to leave

but this is my chair

my spot in the damp air of


the quiet before the children

run off to school

and the mothers

are left behind

to morph into


preparing for siesta

and fertilization

a role I too played

long ago

before I faded

into shadows and

became a ghost

to my kin

By Rose Dewy Knickers, July 21st, 2008


19 thoughts on “Fading into shadows

  1. great verse — sounds like a sad lonely person that’s been set apart from their loved ones in life as opposed to a dead spectre – it stirs something within me!!!

  2. I don’t know, Rose, I think our poems have a similar tone, that melancholy feeling of being alone. You did a great job creating a poem that evokes the feeling of the painting.

  3. See Rose, that’s why I keep my hair dyed. My mom told me that as you become gray, you become invisible. I believe that is true in our youth-obsessed culture. I love your poem because it captures the feeling exactly of how life changes as you get older. It’s a tough transition and sometimes lonely too.

  4. your poem and the photo are a perfect mix.
    I also like that you’ve put yourself in the title role.
    spooky, but in a non threatening way! 🙂

  5. I agree with lucy, first person works great here to really emphasize the feeling of the painting. Very nice!

  6. I am touched by the all to real observation that we shift our eyes from those who so often require nothing more than a smile from us.

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  8. Hey “Sweet…” I STILL look funny. Haven’t faded yet.

    Love the poem Rose. Rick is a great artist and this portrait might be someting else soon if he keeps it, he keeps changing it.

  9. I like the way you narrator talks about invisibility.

    I think this poem summed up one of the reasons that I rejected a domestic lifestyle. I’m not interested in fading away.

    Also one of the reasons I will probably keep dying my hair too. It’s a sad statement when age no longer equates valued wisdom, but equates merely lost beauty instead.


  10. Interesting poem and responses. I appreciated the underlying anger that has the narrator rejecting or lamenting her “domestique” role (traditional housewife who cleans, has children, and who “sleeps” her future away). But the poem begins with such strength as she claims “her spot in her chair” that I’m not quite ready for her to simply become invisible in death.

  11. became a ghost

    to my kin

    It’s interesting how the comments are split between this meaning Nanda is dead or that she’s invisible. When I wrote this, ‘ghost’ means the latter interpretation; a woman who has done everything her family and society demanded and who has been set aside and ignored by her kin.

    Thank you so much everyone for delving into this poem and seeing beyond the words.



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