About The Dead Woman and Remembering


For Writers Island prompt: triumph

About The Dead Woman and Remembering

The dead woman forgot.
She forgot to stop breathing.
The dead woman remembers a woman with white wispy hair.
Remembers the woman wore a jean jacket embellished with sewn on colored buttons.
Remembers how the woman told her that when women turn sixty, they become invisible.
The dead woman was just past fifty when the woman told her.
She remembers that she didn’t understand.
She thought that invisible meant dead.
Decided to wait for sixty, for invisibility.

More About The Dead Woman and Remembering

The dead woman was busy writing a poem.
She was busy with children, grandchildren, life in general.
The dead woman forgot about invisibility, (yet sometimes would think of the woman
     with white wispy hair and colored button embroidery on her jacket).
She would remember that there was something she was supposed to remember.
The dead woman became invisible, but no one could remember when it happened.
She couldn’t remember when it happened.
Knew that she now had long white hair that was rather wispy.
Knew that she could not be heard by others (sometimes not even seen).
Knew that she was drawn toward colored buttons, denim pants and jackets.
The dead woman finally remembered about invisibility and laughed out loud,
     because this dead woman was still breathing.

Elizabeth Crawford  12/18/1o

Note: The Friday prompt at Big Tent Poetry was to do a Dead Man Poem. I did that, but did not adhere strictly to the poetic form, and as usual, did my own thing. You can find that poem here:  http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/

When I found the prompt for Writers Island today, I decided on what I would write, but as soon as I tried to do that, certain memories kept flashing through my mind and this poem was the result. It does conform more strictly to the poetic form which is explained at

Triumph is the realization that one is still breathing, even past the expectations, or wishes, of others.


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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26 Responses to About The Dead Woman and Remembering

  1. brenda w says:

    This is lovely, Elizabeth! The embroidered jacket is a nice thread to follow. I’ve also been warned of the invisibility of 60. 12 more years to go, for me.

    • 1sojournal says:

      And four years behind me, already. And the woman with the wispy hair and jean jacket was a frequent visitor to the store I managed before turning to teaching. She kept popping into my mind while trying to write this morning. So, I let her speak. She frequented my classroom as well.


  2. It is true. I knew an artist, a wonderful artist, Polly Hammett, of Houston, who did a series, about the invisible woman, in her 60’s. The works were hard to see, almost invisible.

    You say, you keep breathing. I say, let’s keep smiling. The joke isn’t over, oh, the tricks you can play, when you are invisible.

    You surprise me to follow the form so closely. I always expect more from you! And you really never disappoint! I love this poem! You are one damn good poet!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Lol, Annell sometimes breathing is enough, but smiling and laughing out loud is always better. In some very real ways you remind me of Lois, the wispy haired woman in the poem. She was always asking questions, and also had a few good tricks up the sleeves of her denim jacket.

      And the last line is not strictly to form, afterall, I am still breathing. Thanks again for all of your words. And I’ll take the “one damn good poet,” and put it in my kudo box. Salute!


  3. Tumblewords says:

    Excellent piece and, I believe, very true!

  4. Berowne says:

    Beautifully written…

  5. she forgot to stop breathing. that’s so surprising, which makes is sooo fabulous!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Carolee, thanks again for the prompt. I’ve had a lot of fun with it, obviously. And yes, it is surprising when society says you are one thing, bad for wearing red shoes, or not worth making note of, doesn’t mean it’s true. Though as I watched my white haired friend struggle with that reality, I did a lot of thinking about it. So, when she popped into my head this morning I knew I had to let her speak. She was never invisible to me, or to many others.


  6. Triumph over death in life. Right on!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you Strummed Words (your ID always makes me want to reach for my guitar, which is no longer here). There are many kinds of death in life. Forgetting is definitely one of them, but invisibility because of ones age is terribly unfair and a definite cheat for everyone concerned.


  7. gospelwriter says:

    It is definitely a triumph to remain breathing even after death. 🙂 I liked this very much, and thought it a good example of the ‘dead man’ poetic form. Perhaps I will try it after all…

    • 1sojournal says:

      I hope so. With your sensitivity I think you could do much with this form. Once I got around my own objections, it wasn’t at all difficult. It’s sort of looking at an issue from one side, then tipping it over to study the unseen side, if that makes any sense at all. Let me know if you do, I’d be very interested in seeing what you come up with,


  8. Elizabeth, you took my breath away with this. That wispy woman, reminds me of my mom. My mom is is so full of life and is very feisty.

    Another great rendition by you.

    BTW, I wrote another one as well, not so good but ok, I think:

    dead man and his bottle of wine

    • 1sojournal says:

      Gautami, thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed and have a wispy white haired woman in your knowing. And yes, I saw the other one you wrote and enjoyed it very much. It’s good to know that we are on the same wavelength.


  9. Deborah says:

    I loved this, and the last line was just perfect!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thanks Deborah, and you must know I was laughing out loud when I wrote it. I like the sound of perfect. Another one for the kudo box. And very glad you enjoyed it.


  10. Deb says:

    It was great to read your process notes, too. I love breathing life into the women not dead yet invisible. The clothing was a great detail, the wispy white hair enough to keep the reader guessing if the woman was dead or alive. Love it.

    And I am already becoming invisible. At 53. Or am I 54? It’s a strange, strange experience. I may be inspired to write of that, as you have. Powerful stuff.

    • 1sojournal says:

      I most heartily agree. It is powerful stuff. And it should be. And yes the invisibility is a very strange experience. I’m so glad I write, that gives a lot of it some well-needed balance. And I do hope you write about it. It’s an important issue and needs your sensitivity as well. Thanks for your comments and words of encouragement. One can’t be completely invisible if one has been a source of inspiration.


  11. pamela says:

    Elizabeth, an invisible woman, I love the concept. I enjoyed this and thanks for the process notes.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Pamela, I believe the concept of women becoming invisible at age sixty was written about quite widely in the previous decade. When I asked my friend to explain what she meant, she told me of being ignored by sales clerks, being dismissed or past over in groups and discussions. I found it hard to imagine until I began to actually experience it myself. I’m glad she told me, or I might have taken it personally, lol. Actually laugh about it sometimes because there is often a peculiar satisfaction in being found to be “that dotty old woman.” It makes me realize that I have accomplished survival, at the very least.


  12. Enjoyed this a lot. Glad you did another one.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thanks Victoria, I’m glad I did it as well. This one came so fast, I had a hard time keeping up with the words. I think it was a direct result of reading so many of the other poets’ offerings. Although I take poetry quite seriously, I have also found it to be wonderful play as well.


  13. James says:

    Great stuff. I love the invisible/dead juxtapositions in this, they way they echo one another. And, I love the first line. So simple and yet so full. It really pulled me in.

    • 1sojournal says:

      James, thank you for accepting the invitation. And the juxtaposition was one of the reasons I was having difficulty with the form itself. Think this poem might have been laying in wait for me, lol. Glad you enjoyed, and anyone with coyote in his ID has a definite place in my book,


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