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Will You Tie My Shoes When I Grow Old

You were beautiful, 
my tiny child, 
wrapped tightly in my arms, 
close to my heart.
I listened to you breathing.
I counted your fingers
and your toes.
you cried out to me
and I loved you
with every ounce of my soul.

Will you hear me
when I cry out? 
Will you hold me close
as I held you then? 

I remember the day
You took your first step.
There was no stopping you.
Your feet gave you freedom
to explore the world
like never before
but danger lurked.
I opened those doors anyway, 
and introduced
you to the world.
Where will you be
when my legs
no longer run? 
no longer work? 
Will you realize
that I love
freedom too? 

I laugh
about that day
you first tied your shoe.
We tried and tried
to get that rabbit
in that hole
and you finally did it.
You pointed your toes
for everyone to see
how proud you were.

I am proud too, 
of my writing
and my drawing, 
of my needlework
and my cooking.
But my hands are beginning to ache
and my fingers will not bend.
I will lose the things
that make me proud
except for you.
Hopefully not you.
Will you let me
brag on you? 
Even tell wild stories
that are a bit beyond the truth? 
Will you be proud of me too? 

I waved good-bye
that morning when you left
on that large, yellow bus.
I was so scared.
I know you were too.
You waved at me bravely
through the dusty window
but I saw the water
forming in your eyes.
You came home, however, 
full of pride and joy.
You sang the alphabet song
and got most of it right.
You practiced for hours
until you could sing it
even in your sleep.

I'm afraid.
I forgot
whether I took
my pills today or not.
I forgot
if I told this story before.
I even forgot once
who you were
and it terrified me.
My mind
is my treasure
the only thing I have left, 
and I heard you make
fun of me
for not remembering
that I gave you the
same gift as last year.
Will you love me
when I no longer
know who I am? 

You came home blushing
from the glow of
your first kiss.
Your first love, 
the one you thought was real.
You talked about him non-stop.
You changed for him. You gave.
But he left you anyway
for a blue-eyed girl
and I held you
while you cried for him.

I too have a
broken heart.
The love of my life
left me after
fifty-six years.
He left me here
to live life on my own
while he moved on
to another realm
And I cry for him too.
I long for his shoulder
and strong embrace.
I feel betrayed
because he and I
made a deal
that we would never
leave the other alone.
Yet I am alone
sitting in an echoing house
with no hands to hold.

You welcomed her home today- 
your tiny baby girl.
She has your eyes
and possibly your toes.
I see you counting them
as they roll me
into the room.
You finally came
to visit.
It has been a while.

You look up at me
with tears in your eyes
and ask
almost desperately, 

"Will she tie my
when I get old? "

Copyright © | Year Posted 2013

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Date: 2/19/2019 10:23:00 AM
Hi Rachel, have never read a poem that tore my heart right out of my chest and wept. you are a master poet to me. This is beyond the horizon of beauty. Thank you for touching my my inner most being. You are magic.! I am blessed with a daughter who while a human, is a true angel, as I age. Her helping me and endless love, is a wonder. As she was to me. God's gift! With respect and love, Panagoita Romios
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Date: 1/25/2019 12:56:00 AM
No words and that's odd..Brillant and breathe taking
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Date: 7/19/2018 12:38:00 AM
Sorry Rachel I forgot I had already added it to my favourites-old age and short term memory loss I’m afraid-But I hadn’t expressed my admiration before for this wonderful piece which is something you deserve.
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Date: 7/19/2018 12:26:00 AM
This is really wonderful.It is so moving and beautifully written.It was such a joy to read I would like to have it please Rachel for one of my favourites.
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Date: 3/8/2018 11:32:00 PM
We give our children everything that we can, to see them growing up to be what we couldn't, to have the happiness that we didn't have, to be speared from the mistakes we fall in to. I hope your child will grow up to be the person you wished to be. Great words you wrote, I can tell they came out from good heart.
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Date: 1/11/2018 11:07:00 PM
Came across this poem as I’m getting ready to sleep. Ah, the memories of raising tiny tots ~ though related, not my own ~ I am well-pleased to have shared their “firsts”. Thank you for articulating so well the thoughts that come as many of us lay our heads upon our pillows. I am now a follower and will enjoy reading more of your poems. ~ BD
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Date: 12/13/2017 6:52:00 PM
Very heart felt poem. Thank you for sharing your talent: From Peggy
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Date: 12/11/2017 4:33:00 AM
Wow...amazing poem, Rachel...I care full time for my 88yr. young Mom now....3 strokes, new heart valve, independant! the biggest thing I catch showing frustration with her building memory issues...I want her to remember such simple things....but need huge working on my shortcomings, thanks for daylight on issue...james
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Date: 12/11/2017 4:20:00 AM
Rachel, a touchingly beautiful write that left a tear spilling from my eye.
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Date: 12/11/2017 3:49:00 AM
This was absolutely beautiful Rachel!!! So poignant yet filled with love! I was swept away with recognition into emotions that every parent can relate to. I’m very happy your piece was featured so that I have discovered you today:). Best , Judy
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Date: 12/11/2017 12:33:00 AM
Very good work. Linear projection through anecdotal material every parent can identify with to a conclusion we are forced to dwell upon. Refreshing to be confronted with such talent.
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Date: 12/11/2017 12:09:00 AM
Rachel, I think this is a really beautiful poem with a message that should be shared. Outstanding! A Fave for me! : )
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Date: 12/10/2017 11:57:00 PM
I Am A Fan!!! That poem is amazing! 10/10 that's awesome I have to say on of the best poems out there
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Date: 12/10/2017 11:13:00 PM
Hi Rachel....So lovely poem....and a lovely request to the child.................Love to Mom and DAD when they grew old and we normally ignore them.... ""Will she tie my shoes when I get old? "
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Date: 12/10/2017 9:20:00 PM
Dear Rachel Kovacs, Simply splendid poem,depicting the reality! But it's said that 'love begets love & hatred begets hatred'. If we'll take care of our parents & their needs,our progeny is supposed to follow suit. On the contrary,if we'll ignore our parents, then our children shall forget us also.
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Date: 12/10/2017 6:08:00 PM
Certainly makes you wonder leaving much food for thought! Thank You I found it most enjoyable
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Date: 12/10/2017 5:49:00 PM
Rachel, This speaks of facts that most will face in their lifetime..You have captured the emotion of life so well..I am at the point in my life where anything can happen and I do not know if my children will be able to care for me and that is a scary thought..Sara
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Date: 12/10/2017 5:25:00 PM
Rachel: You have put into elegant words that "elephant" in every grey hairs lonely room. Thank you for sharing this with all of us on the soup. Perhaps it will catch the eye of someone's son or daughter and awaken in them a desire to visit. oldbuck
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Date: 12/10/2017 5:13:00 PM
What a wonderful poem. Full of love and inspiration.
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Date: 12/10/2017 4:57:00 PM
Such a moving poem Rachel i have tears in my eyes reading this your touching words. I'm so glad it was featured and am adding it to my faves:-) hugs jan xx
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Date: 5/27/2017 8:06:00 AM
Beautiful and painful too; the warm memories of the past and the sadness of the future.
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Date: 6/27/2016 6:39:00 AM
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Date: 5/9/2015 11:52:00 PM
Just beautiful
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Date: 8/2/2014 5:23:00 AM
Beautiful! Similar thoughts in me also. Congratulations Rachel!
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Date: 9/22/2013 8:14:00 AM
Hi Rachel, :) Congratulations on having your poem featured on the sous HOME PAGE.... always & forever *LINDA
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