“Age Comes While I’m Trying to Figure Out What to Say” by Mary Rose Betten

Mary Rose Betten

AGE COMES WHILE I’M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO SAY

Age comes while I’m trying to figure out what to say.
I’ve put on ten years just this weekend.

My sister turns into my grandmother
while I’m asking her a question.

I become my Great Aunt Marie
turning down beds for those long dead.

Parts of my body play musical chairs.
My hair is a color God never meant it to be.

I wear shoes only an elephant could love,
forget where I put them and go out to buy more.

My answering machine makes more sense than I do,
I must draw pictures and point to them.

This rearrangement of knee caps and eye balls
makes objects appear close because I want them to be.

“Well, come on in,” I probably should say,
but by the time I got that far,
I’d forget who I was talking to.

from Rattle #19, Summer 2003
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