Annie was in her late eighty's,
And Mark, nearing ninety-five.
They could be spotted every day,
Hand in hand and side by side,

Daily they walked for many miles,
Far beyond the neighborhood,
Clearly they were very wise,
They knew walking did them good.

Their pork-pie hats and blazers,
Which they wore to keep them warm,
And sturdy, East Coast walking shoes,
Were their standard uniforms.

I would see them all the time,
And was amazed at their persistence,
They walked and walked, as if they had,
Total age resistance.

When Mark's eyesight started failing,
And Annie's hearing grew so bad,
They became each other's help-mates,
By sharing what they had.

Mark loaned his ears to Annie,
Who, in turn, lent her eyes to Mark,
Theirs was a match made up in heaven,
The blending of two hearts.

Once Mark had pneumonia,
Annie stayed right by his side,
And through her dedicated care,
He managed to survive.

But other problems plagued them. too,
Infections, flu's, and colds,
And a myriad of ailments,
Affecting those who dare grow old.

One day Mark's relatives showed up,
Distant ones, he barely knew,
But close enough to sway Mark's mind,
And tell him what to do.

Since they judged him old and fragile,
They picked out a nursing home,
They insisted that he move there,
Leaving Annie all alone.

Annie helped Mark pack his things,
Then the family came for him,
Annie could not say goodbye,
Their situation sad and grim.

Annie's ears would soon be gone,
And Mark would leave his eyes behind,
A tragic separation,
How unkind life is sometimes.

As I walked him to the car,
I gave Mark a final hug,
I knew I'd not see him again,
My heart overflowed with love

"Keep an eye on Annie,"
Was his last request,
Then he was whisked away,
With his heavy-laden breast.

I said I would, of course,
Though not sure what I could do,
I knew this was a job for God,
And for Guardian Angels, too.

Mark and Annie's tale near done,
Only one way it could end,
I saw them as God's sparrows,
And He had His eye on them.

Well, God arranged things neatly,
And within three months Mark died,
No way, without his Annie,
Could that man have stayed alive.

Then Annie moved away,
Also, to a nursing-home,
Trapped by circumstance,
She could not live alone.
Well, I won't know when Annie goes,
For we no longer have our tie,
But I believe there'll shortly be,
Two pork-pie hats up in the sky.
And two angels wrapped in blazers,
Wearing sturdy, walking shoes,
Who'll be tramping throughout Paradise,
On its golden avenues.

~ Virginia (Ginny) Ellis ~
copyright 2001

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