At a corner table of a Wendy’s
an old woman sits every morning
bent over her paper,
her coffee and half eaten egg
patiently awaiting further attention.
In the banality that is old age
she thinks how little she enjoyed
the years of youth and beauty
when she might have been shameless
instead of prudent.
Now she is old but only yesterday
she was lush of hip and breast
inhabiting the fantasies of young men
their desires glowing openly
in eyes that looked at her.
How many impulses denied;
joys sacrificed, chances lost
in the name of sensibility,
security, planning the future;
Oh how the Gods laugh at those who plan!
But it was only yesterday
and now she curses those who counseled
patience and prudence; to plan for tomorrow
to be proper, to do the right thing
“You have so many days ahead!”
Oh the things she might have done
had she not bridled passion;
lovers not taken even as their voices trembled;
novels not written, places not seen;
age now mocking senseless caution.
Children are having kid’s meals
screeching infants demand attention
she must go home before she gets dizzy
rest her head on an empty kitchen table.