As I recognize my shrinking span of days,

I’m not dismayed, much.

I’m content with who I am, mostly,

and what I’ve done, mostly.

My name will not be mentioned in syllabi

of any academic courses,

nor known beyond the memories

of two next generations,

and that’s okay, I think.


Sometimes, though, I have an urge

to rub my jowls against the doorjambs

and table legs of hence,

depositing me-scented signatures

for passersby to sense

and wonder: who was that?




Cynthia Trenshaw worked as a nationally certified chaplain for two Midwestern hospitals in oncology, emergency, and children’s psychiatry units. In San Francisco she served the people of the streets, offering them skilled massage therapy and compassionate presence under the viaducts and in the homeless shelters of the city. Now living on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, she is a midwife for the dying at Enso House, a Zen hospice. Her memoir of these experiences, Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation To Encounter Society’s Invisible People, was published in October 2015 by She Writes Press (Berkeley). She blogs regularly at cynthiatrenshaw.com.