it is in these more frequent
than before moments
when they doze off
on the sofas
with the tv running
and i can observe them

free from tension

age showing in the lines
above relaxed brows
around closed eyes
and slightly open mouths
in the silhouette
of downward angled heads
and slumped shoulders

that i see
how much older
they have become
in the years i have
not been paying attention

keeping my distance

i wonder
how much longer
i can continue
to pull away
to willfully ignore
the frailty evident
in these quiet moments