Tuesday, October 20, 2015


by Cheryl Merrick

I see in the eyes of some
they think me wise,
 as if some noble gift was bestowed upon me,
a symbolic crown of my advancing years.

How can I explain the discomfort I feel?
I know all this “wisdom” is merely
the accumulation of learning 
from my mistakes -
mistakes for which I paid dearly.

Yes, I share my experiences
in the hopes that they will be the ones
to be wise-
far wiser than I have been.

Time To

by Cheryl Merrick

It  is time to write each day 
Time to study the Gospel
And have moments to think and meditate

It is time to be with my husband
Time to visit with family and friends
And send emails and cards
Time to keep my home clean, beautiful, and orderly
And time to help with the business

Tempered Hearts

by Cheryl Merrick

With hearts softened
through long lonely nights
of caring for sick babies,
of drying toddlers tears,
and of struggling to teach children
to live the Gospel,
then anxiously watching
them as teens 
choose their own paths,
The heart slowly 
becomes tempered,
creating within
a greater capacity
 for love.

Perfect Love

by Cheryl Merrick

As I seek opportunities to uplift others,
my heart soars,
my hurts are healed,
and my fears of aging disappear.
Finally, I come to know that truly
 “perfect love casteth out fear”

Passing the Torch

by Cheryl Merrick

Your dad hired our son,
patiently training
him to survey.

With experience,
his small flame grew strong.

Now to your children
we offer first jobs,
giving them opportunities to grow beyond
their family hearth,
experiencing new responsibilities
 and relationships.

Officially Old

by Cheryl Merrick

You know you are officially old
when you start receiving advertisements 
for hearing aids, medicare, motorized wheelchairs, 
and retirement planning
when you take a handful of pills each day
when you become stiff and achy 
after sitting for a little while
when you can no longer find your waist
and your pants have “shrunk”
when you keep losing your other glasses,
or tilting your head to look through bifocals
when it is hard to hear clearly over background noise,
or drive at night

New Tack

by Cheryl Merrick

The days of steadying
a new young couple
are coming to a close.

My time of teaching children
is contained in
a few short hours a week.

The load of child raising responsibilities
are nearly gone
as baby books are recorded and childhood pictures preserved.

New Paths

by Cheryl Merrick

Young, I stepped away from the security
of my family’s small road.
Taking a path yet untried.
I ventured out, full of fear and excitement 
on my path to college.
Meeting the right young man,
we announced the formation of a new road,
And so a small family began 
becoming larger with the addition of each child.
Hurrying to appointments and  programs,
Our family speeds along.
I feel a sense of fulfillment in  constantly being needed,
and thrive on motherhood,
a road which never seems to end.


by Cheryl Merrick

It seemed so far away,
so distant as to be unreal.
Yes, I had known grieving
for those no longer here,
But dying was something
only for the very old–
certainly not me!
Stunned, I realize that my grandparents
were my age, my dad, 
and my husband's mother
were only a few years older 
when they passed on.
Persistently my body is telling me
with each ache and pain
that it is becoming tired.
As I stiffen up after sitting a few minutes,
tire quickly, and sleep lightly,
I am reminded to cherish
these fleeting moments
of mortality.

In Between

by Cheryl Merrick

I’m at that in between age.
Though being a teen
is something I’ve not recently seen,
I am in between.

My children have grown,
and nearly all flown.
But married they’re not,
and grandchildren I haven’t got.
So till then, 
I stay in between.


by Cheryl Merrick

The days of struggling to keep my house clean and orderly
are gone,
along with our four children.

The days of vacuuming, shampooing, and polishing
are gone,
along with the carpets, chrome, and a lot of the furniture.

The days of mounting pictures and making scrapbooks
are gone,
our memories instantly stored on the computer.

Holiday baking, shopping, and wrapping
have given way to nuts, gift cards, and sacks.


by Cheryl Merrick

I look at this woman,
   noting the many changes 
   the years have brought.
She has lost her chin,
   but gained several bulges.
Her hair is naturally “frosted”. 
Her face carefully etched 
 with a record of her joys and sorrows.

No longer frustrated 
  by forgetting something,
  but joyful in remembering anything, 
  she passes through her day.
No longer traumatized 
   by a small facial blemish,

Aging to Perfection

by Cheryl Merrick

Line by line,
injury and age,
experience and sorrow,
slowly the false pride of youth
is striped away
leaving, painfully bare, 
the spirit,
now prepared 
to be perfected.

Advantages of Turing 50

by Cheryl Merrick

My hair is naturally “frosted”.
I have a wardrobe that would make
  any expecting 20 year old envious.
My teeth match my cream sweater.
The purple lines add interest to my legs.
You can play connect the dots on the back of my hands
and for higher math practice,
try counting the lines on my face.


by Cheryl Merrick

He is home now.
I have waited so long
     for us to spend time together.
Soon he may be gone,
involved again 
in a big construction project
which excludes me.
I am cherishing these days
spent in planning together.
I feel a part of his life -
included – a partner.

A Woman's Afternoon

by Cheryl Merrick

The frantic, morning pace has ended.
She gazes proudly at the vigorous growth in her children’s gardens,
established and on their own now,
no longer needing her constant attention,
The satisfaction becomes a growing discontent
as she realizes,
the intense dependency is over.
She, the nurturer of gardeners,
finds that waiting only to give advice 
not enough to fill her afternoon.
And so,  time stretches out in barren, emptiness.
A quiet, piercing  voice commands,
“Look to your own garden.”