Portrait of Women at Fifty | Arts Feature | Indy Week
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Portrait of Women at Fifty 

I

We begin:

To breathe

like our mothers--

To waver in our worship

of Gramma,

wondering if periods have turned

into ?s, :s, ,s, :s

--s seeing maybe

only Caps (as in Capital

& Cancer)

space & possibly

the + or the *

as integral

to our efforts

to commune.

II

We sign with initials only

because of time or $,

therefore admitting once

again how early we were

forced to apprehend

Our Father´s middle name

which = Fear.

III

Laptops hum to us

when sleep or love abandons

& we cease to wear aprons

because now the substances

we spill or waste appear

in flesh & not on

artificial coverings.

Eternally prodigal,

we keep screens clear

although loss or obfuscation

of keys remains a risk.

IV

We read more or less

(Sacrificing Russians,

& Catholics, the Orthodox

& the Old).

Similarly, the sacrament

we recognize as True

has more to do

with sex, grandchildren, exercise

or Art,

than with water, wafer & Holy Wine--

Hunger &/or Thirst--

or any number

of the 7 Deadlies

which become personified

& shadow us

like prehistorical beasts.

(Obsessions beget obsessions.)

V

If we die

we refuse

interviews.

VI

If we achieve

Fame &/or Riches

(or fail to)

we deny our Fault,

ever pointing

up, down, over

there,

with hearts covered,

eyes lowered,

moon above unseen,

but recognized,

like an * or star.

More by Rosanne Coggeshall

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