Given our name and our mission, we at Women’s Voices for Change feel little need to offer equal time to male poets, but every once in a while a deeper voice reminds us that change is indeed a shared human experience. Recently, our falconing friend, Mary Ellen Rooney, was the recipient of a poem written by a friend who’d taken a road trip and mused on the beauty of the later seasons of a woman’s life. She asked, “Would we ever consider . . .?”  We were happy to reply “Yes,” and we are equally happy to present this lovely tribute-to-our-readers to our readers. —Ed.

Photo Credit: Martin Cathrae, Flickr

In Praise of an Older Woman, by Gordon Gilbert

In her green youth

Spring was in her step

The fragrant scent of flowers bright

Enchanted and seduced all men

As her beauty blossomed


Past spring’s green age of folly now

Before leaves fall

As fall leaves us

To winter’s stark bare limbs

And memories of younger seasons

Her fall foliage commands our admiration

Imperiously demands appreciation

Of a wiser, seasoned season


As fall nips the air

And her green leaves

Oh, the colors wonderful

Of red and purple, orange and rust

That always lay beneath

And come to light

Exposed now

In her fall!


Gordon Gilbert has been a West Village resident in NYC since the mid-seventies—and yet he discovered the spoken-word scene only four years ago.  Since then, there has been an outpouring of poetry, short stories, monologues, and a play.  He currently hosts monthly celebrations of Beat Generation writers (male and female) at the Yippie Museum Café. Since November, he has staged five performances of “Monologues from the Old Folks’ Home,” with a cast of 17—dramatic productions he has written and is producing and directing. Gordon may be contacted at [email protected].



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  • Karen Neuberg June 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    What a beautiful poem and a lovely tribute to women. Thank you for publishing “In Praise of an Older Woman.”

  • Donna Miceli June 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    This is a lovely poem. It is nice that you included a male’s perspective.

  • Lizzie Dailey June 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Gordon’s work is Fernwood for older and wiser women. I love this poem for its graciousness and beauty. Let’s all forgive ourselves for growing older.

  • anne June 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I love it, just beautiful!

  • HN June 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Lovely, powerful ending. Thanks for publishing this!

  • Heather Spears June 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

    beautiful presentation of a beautiful poem!

  • avi June 10, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Love it: “seasoned season”. It does seem to take a lifetime before many of us learn to let fall our camouflage, before we expose our colors.

  • Cindy Hochman June 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

    What a lovely poem – – and a beautiful tribute to all women, including Mother Nature! These lines, especially, are beautiful:

    Before leaves fall

    As fall leaves us

    To winter’s stark bare limbs

    Thanks for printing this inspiring poem – – and thank you, Gordon Gilbert, for writing it!

    -Cindy Hochman
    Editor-in-Chief, First Literary Review-East