It’s aging me

I turned middle aged very rapidly

since taking on this desk job,

I noticed it today, when for the first,

sad time, i disrobed in the office bathroom

which was pretty bold, as there are

seven stalls, i flipped off my flimsy dress

(yeah, I’m still wearing those)

to check for ticks, and i didn’t like

what I was seeing. It looked like

the underwear of a teen,

misfitted onto an elderly woman

and for the first time, i prayed

that no one would walk in.

 

I drove home listening to talk radio

not even dancing my hand out the window

to inappropriate music, which I would’ve done

just six months ago. I got home

and laid down, all the while thinking

I bet my puppy wishes he had

a more energetic mom

who could really play with him.

It’s a good thing I’ll never have

children, I guess, and then

I thought of those poetry readings

 

Those all night poetry readings

that sometimes, as the room quieted,

Auntie Tina would hobble  in

and take the stage, waving at her cane

social worker-ing her poetry as

emergency survival meetings

for the impoverished community

 

She said, we’re rich in poetry,

but sometimes, i know, its hard

to get out of bed. Sometimes,

i don’t think I’ll make it, and

I know, from listening

to you beautiful souls

that I’m not alone in this

So I want you all to envision

a toolbox, and tell me

what tools are in it.

Some chose glass and

some chose wooden-some

had their dogs or artwork in it

 

As I’m lying in bed, remembering,

I think of a literal box,

under the sink, in the kitchen

that has some antidepressants

I was prescribed then but hadn’t taken;

I fell in love, or got published

and decided I didn’t need them.

At the time, I thought, I’ll save these

for a real emergency. They are orange.

 

And the time is now. They are survival.

I think of Auntie Tina, and I

take my toolbox out.

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