89 today.

The rattle of a letterbox
and a momentary jolt of excitement.
A birthday card?
Someone remembered?
But she knows,
deep down,
it’s just another bill.

The radio plays static.
Untuned for days,
but too hard to reach
with arthritic joints
that crackle and burn like embers in a winter fire.

Hours pass,
staring at peeling wallpaper,
lost in painful memories
of how a young woman’s hopes and dreams
slowly withered and died.

She clutches the crucifix around her neck,
as a familiar question drips from cracked blue lips…

“Why am I still here?”