30 at 30
Our Authorâ€™s Answer To The Oh-No-Go-Away-Anything-But-Turning-30 Blues
sodden displays, tear buckets,
thatâ€™s what they suggest.
Iâ€™ve plane tickets tropical,
laughterâ€” thirty, lick my dust.
Thirty & Single
I still own college
clothes, car, television, books,
forty thou in loans.
No house, no spouse, no child, trueâ€”
but MFA, few regrets.
In Which Our Author Realized (Their Relationship Was Going Nowhere Good)
Paul didnâ€™t want me
to marry him and live hereâ€”
orchards, country laneâ€”
he assumed Iâ€™d leave all
I knewâ€”suburbs, our slow end.
First Date, Repeatedly Mistake
â€œMy students, too, ask:
why arenâ€™t you married yet?
Why donâ€™t you have kids?
Why?Â He married someone else.
The other answer: myself.â€
In Which The Jilted Attempts Getting On With It Already
Or: Whose Poem Is This, Anyway?
Paulâ€™s got a daughter.
Heâ€™s got a blonde trophy wife.
California, brand new life.
Whose poem is this, anyway?
Found:Â high school photos.
Gray box in parentsâ€™ basement.
Big bangs.Â Hungry jaws.
Three best friends forever, beam.
All so eager.Â Now grown, goneâ€”.
In Which Our Author Googles At Midnight
Tick-tock, idle mind.
Awakeâ€”ex-crushes checked first.
Then once-friends, -profs, -priests.
None spared truth-spilling typeface.
Better?Â Worse?Â Curious?Â Why?
Teacher is a Verb
Or: Our Authorâ€™s Full-Time, Part-Time (Pre)Occupation
I copy handouts,
empathize, e-mail, suggest.
Talk, read, talk, grade, talk.
I make my own damn coffee,
I wear my own self empty.
In Which Our Author Remembers the Wise Counsel of Her Elder In The (Teaching) Field
â€œEach year, theyâ€™re younger.
Each year, weâ€™re the ones to age.â€
Bowed backs, khaki slacks,
out of touch with current fads.
Moms and Dads.Â Now: almost them.
In Which, Among The Bills and Advertisements, Our Author Spies A Harbinger Bearing Familiar Handwriting
Monogram, cream envelope.
â€œjoin us for the union ofâ€¦â€
Will my day come?Â Not todayâ€¦
Or: When Mr. Iâ€™ll Show Him Shows Our Author
Coy balladeer boy,
True or False?Â Same rakish grin.
Derby, dressed to nines,
guitar strum, Chablis, donâ€™t comeâ€”.
Better without his Muse-ick!
â€œWhen Itâ€™s Your Time, Itâ€™s Your Timeâ€
Sisâ€”on the cruise boat.
Mom and Dadâ€”next door neighbors.
Friendsâ€”church, fix-ups, work,
the writing seminar, bar.
Pursue your goals until then.
In Which Our Author Decides She Will Go For Broke
Verse in Poetry.
Novels, Hollywood, Broadwayâ€”!
â€œSlow and steady wins the race.â€
Common wisdom would prevailâ€”
were I a common woman.
Baby Fever and What Our Author Does When Everyone She Knows Has Caught It
A new baby girl!
Johnâ€™s sister.Â Â Amyâ€™s brother.
A new baby boy!
Shop for coochey coochey coo.
Friends quip, â€œEnjoy quiet now!â€
The waiter walked pastâ€”
no water refill for me.
You laughed when I quipped,
â€œIâ€™m made to be forgotten.â€
Six weeksâ€” you havenâ€™t called once.
In A Bad Way: In Which Our Author Suffers A Setback, Mired in Spinster Stereotypes
Or: Muckety Muck
Fifty stray kitties,
fat ankles, flowered muumuus,
â€œthose damn kids these daysâ€
depilatory, foul moods.
What she never had, killed her.
In Which Our Author Attempts Raising Her Spirits and Lowering Her Credit Limit
a new coiffeur by Mitzi,
sparkly high heeled shoes,
sequin dresses I wonâ€™t wear,
cheesecake on the way home, cry.
In Which Our Author Gets Back on Track With A Little Help From Other (Sometime) Familiar Sources
Slow walk back from postal box.
Afternoon glow, no
Thanks?Â Acceptance! Yes shimmers.
Published author.Â Hope renewed.
â€œIf I were still young,
I wouldnâ€™t even bother.
I love your Dad, but
women get all of the work.
Stillâ€”I hope you find someone.â€
Prompt, attentive, kindâ€”
votes, tithes, remembers his Mom,
cute if not handsome.
Girls should want him, but they donâ€™t.
I should want him, but I donâ€™t.
Depression tested, worked, wedâ€”
sans the Pill and Choice,
each year, a full bassinette,
â€œspare the rod and spoil the child.â€
On Having An â€œOutsideâ€ Job
Dadâ€™s Mama didnâ€™t,
Mom didnâ€™t after we were born,
Momâ€™s Mom, widow, hadâ€”.
Now Sister doesnâ€™t want hers.
Me?Â I work, therefore I am.
Doctor Spockâ€™s children,
Boomers wild, finding themselves.
From farms to campus,
campus to communes, free love.
Iâ€™m the romance of their search.
In Which Our Author Celebrates Front Page News
Grocery store check-out,
womenâ€™s magazine headlineâ€”
Single & Sublime!
â€œSolo years bring fulfillment
more than mere pairings.â€Â My life.
Already, Further Along Than My Grandparents and Parents
Western russet after rains,
Tar Heelsâ€™ sandy beaches goldâ€”
they knew solely local skies.
Cocktail Reception At the Artists Retreat, In Which Our Author Asked The One She Really Wanted It To Work Out With â€œHow is a guy like you here alone?â€
Brown eyes, supple smile,
rancher turned landscape painter,
witty then quiet,
â€œâ€¦and Liz divorced me last spring,â€
he looks down.Â Damnâ€”not ready.
In Which Our Author Breathes a Sigh of Relief, Coming and Going As She Pleases
Wal-Mart aisleâ€” man scowls,
wife scurries behind, cowers,
â€œIâ€™m almost done, Ed.â€
Husband rolls his eyes, curses.
This is marriage?Â Stay single.
Or: Vain Attempts to Comfort As Cheryl, A Longtime Friend, Tries To Explains The Beginning of the End
â€œI didnâ€™t know myself then.â€
â€œI just wanted to save him.
Guess Iâ€™ll save myself instead.â€
Anyplace I want:
spa weekend, New Mexico,
Italy, Greek Isles, Bali.
Fancy free.Â Bags packed. Readyâ€”.
In the End As The Beginning, Our Author Celebrates Another 365
Friendsâ€™ sons send drawings,
smiling students, birthday lunch,
surpriseâ€”!Â Sister calls.
Who has time for boo-hoo blues?
Life: muddled, joyous, startingâ€”.