Saturday, September 03, 2011

Luisa Has Accomplished Fifty Today

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


Marly Youmans said...

Dale, you beat me all hollow! All I did was send her the poem I wrote on my last birthday! Grand gift.

Dale said...

Thanks Marly!

The Poet's Lizard said...

I'm all kinds of overwhelmed! Thank you xoxo!

Dale said...

Happy Birthday, You!

Lucy said...

So right! Happy birthday Luisa.

Jayne said...

Ah Dale--you are a wonder!

I'm going to recite this poem to my entire family when I turn 50 next month. And credit you, of course. You don't mind do you? ;)

Dale said...

Honored :-)