Thursday, November 4, 2010

say cheese

Rich old ladies in America
like to fold and unfold a big smile
they learned from musicals with Ginger Rogers
when they were young and fresh.
Now their imitation smile,

challenged by repeated facelifts,
looks like aged cured cheese

in a discount emporium;
but they can’t help it.

Needless to say they even think

they are the big cheese.

That’s why these ladies

don’t make wonderful grandmothers.

And when rich old ladies in America
visit family for Thanksgiving Day,

they could irritate all turkeys in the nation

with their ostentatious display

of Tiffany adornments,

if the big birds were not already

stuffed and roasted.

As to sneak away another fifteen years

from savings, pension funds,

and Parcae,

rich old ladies in America

move Southeast Sunshine Florida

in their seventies.

You can spot them dozing off on a veranda

in Palm Beach,

completely unaware

of a sheepish smile

they wear; possibly they have this reverie
of being Eves in Eden,

when a sweet cool breeze
sweeps off the mystic leaf,
and Adam’s eyes read sin.

You wouldn’t miss this smile:
it is as charming as Mona Lisa’s.