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My Life As An Old Woman


ISSUE:  Autumn 2003
I knew this without waking:
my boat had slipped its anchor.
It was yellow, rented to me
by two gay men and their cat.
They begged me to clean up
after their cat, but I had to say no.
I had obligations. Was I a teacher
or student? In any case
unprepared, though
I presented a shard of pottery
as my final senior project.
“It fell off the couch;
the ocean is rough going
this time of year.”
I could get away with this
because it was a skillful shard,
made in multicolored clay.
Once I lived without excuses.
I had “inner resources”
and no one could accuse me of sloth.
Now with one working finger
I dial up my best friend
who is fat but has a beau.
Where is my beau?
Would you like a few
more pillows, says the slighter
of the two gay men. No,
but another glass of water please.
He wears a fisherman’s cap.
My boat has become a bed.
My bed has slipped its anchor.

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