In the east there's a glowing patch
of fawn-colored sky with soft gray kerchiefs
drifting across it. Dawn.
Luisa has accomplished fifty today:
the age at which, my old professor said,
you don't take shit offa nobody.
Not grandmothers, who have
gone to their various rewards;
not husbands sifted
to fruit and chaff
in their right proportions;
not puppyish admirers,
blond or gray, who want
to scribble in your margins.
(Fair enough: but
it belongs to them, not you.)
And should anyone ask
the secret of being beautiful at fifty
you don't even have to say
the obvious – “Attend to beauty,
and it will attend to you” –
You can make the faintest
acknowledging or deprecating moue,
an impatient shake of the head,
and go directly to the next task,
as you have as long as you can remember:
cooking, cleaning, worrying –
and doing your daily obeisance
to how the tunic rubs its velvet raw;
to Annie Oakley's interval of thought.
velvet tunic: Occasional
Annie Oakley: Dear Annie Oakley