How it goes

Under the table she swings and swings
her feet. They still look girlish, but

for the pucker of old flesh behind each
knee; and the bunion pushing against

the worn fabric of shoe. It pains to imagine
how she gropes her way in the dark from bedroom

to bathroom then lies back down on a mattress
almost as old as me; or longs for a blue flame

at midnight to heat water in a kettle for tea.
Meanwhile the wind whistles through gaps

in the floor: its long trail a daily laceration,
coming from far away. It says when you’re young

you want to make your fame by doing something
outrageous, something that strives for importance.

When you’re older you start not giving a fuck,
not making apologies. And then when you’re old

you want merely not to have to beg to rest your bones
inside the shell of a cup, inside a linen-lined trunk.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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