“The Romance of Middle Age” by Mary Meriam

Mary Meriam

THE ROMANCE OF MIDDLE AGE

Now that I’m fifty, let me take my showers
at night, no light, eyes closed. And let me swim
in cover-ups. My skin’s tattooed with hours
and days and decades, head to foot, and slim
is just a faded photograph. It’s strange
how people look away who once would look.
I didn’t know I’d undergo this change
and be the unseen cover of a book
whose plot, though swift, just keeps on getting thicker.
One reaches for the pleasures of the mind
and heart to counteract the loss of quicker
knowledge. One feels old urgencies unwind,
although I still pluck chin hairs with a tweezer,
in case I might attract another geezer.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009
Tribute to the Sonnet

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Mary Meriam: “Since I am the voice of a violet crushed by soldiers’ boots, I write poems. Since I am the last living passenger out of a subway disaster, I write poems. Since I am a wet quark in a dry universe, I write poems. Since I am a lover’s dream of her love, I write poems.”