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Old Crone in a Dark Mansion

© Shers Gallagher 2013

She lives in a dark mansion,
alone and forgotten by everyone
but herself.
She lived with another in exile
and all was good until he died.
That was not discussed in the contract
of her immigration, 
a clause that perhaps he would one day die
and leave her altogether.
She keeps one light on now,
one light only,
to spare the utilities while 'nickel and diming' the dole 
to the nth penny.
The car he left her too, 
but it does not run, 
it being rutted in the road and lacking for petrol.
They'd planned to pave its trail,
but so many sidetracks had occurred along the way. 
And she is no longer of the age that her beauty will save her.
She remains the ageing crone that can only be pitied in fiction, 
in a Flannery O'Conner novel. 

Aisling Books


  1. "She remains the ageing crone that can only be pitied in fiction, in a Flannery O'Conner novel."

    Or in real life if one only knew.

    Good, Mz Shers! Good!

  2. she is no longer of the age that her beauty will save her... it's a shame she thinks that way

  3. rather sad that she thinks she doesn't have beauty to be saved- I bet she does!

  4. That dark house does invite sad tales to be told..

  5. So she never developed survivor skills. You reap what you sow or in this case what you don't sow.

  6. Hate to think beauty to be anyone's salvation...

    1. I'm in total agreement.
      But this is a poem, not intended to make you feel sorry for/disapproving of the crone or her alter-ego. I look at it as a gothic tale with contemporary references. There are sadness and mourning, symbolisms, intimate thoughts. It seems to end an era, but, who knows, it may even be the beginning of a new era...

  7. I was feeling very Dickens-ish reading this - Mrs Havisham- Pip and all! (except it sadly ended in fire-)thanks.

  8. "ageing crone that can only be pitied in fiction,
    in a Flannery O'Conner novel."

    It sounds to me like this lovely woman is stronger than most people I know. Love the story withing the poetry, and the imagery ;-)

  9. Shoot...she doesn't need beauty! She just needs to get that car running.

  10. Excellent take on the pic. I think you covered it all there.

  11. I can actually see her. And that's marvellous storytelling, Shers!

  12. A tragedy of circumstances, Shers! But all is not lost. If only there's a man around be it a loving spouse or a decent helper things can progress for the better! Nicely!


  13. Joyless and lonely. A sad post but a good one...

  14. Oh so sad....and fits this painting well!! Well done

  15. Excellent Shers: now on to Part Two.

  16. I agree with DaniBlue ... chapter two please? There must be more ...

  17. I wonder what sad to be left and not knowing your future..great write!

  18. As I wrote this piece I was thinking of a Flannery O'Connor short story, such as the one about the old Southern lady who was jilted at the altar and never stopped wearing her wedding dress...a faded rose, indeed. And, of course, yes! There IS the classic Dickens and his 'Great Expectations' with Mrs Havisham! 
    'Delta Dawn, what's that flower you've got on? Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?' ;-)

  19. Hey! Hey! That was truly deep and emotional. I was swept along with her loneliness. Great read!

  20. This one is excellent. It must be your worst nightmare. Ah, the tragedy of the aging beauty. There are advantages to never having been more than nice on a good day.


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