She is older than I.

Long years of acquiescence

mark lines on her face, trail silver through her hair.

 

She is wiser than I; does not spend herself

on pointless struggle.

Defends herself against demons;

does not try to destroy them.

 

She is stronger than I;

daily she goes down

into the dark of herself;

faces her fears, knows their names,

endures them.

 

She is sparer than I;

stripped of the clinging things of life

stands, only herself.

 

Crowds part around her,

hurry past, avert their gaze;

will not acknowledge her

where she stands,

wiser, sparer, stronger than I.