From On the Bus with Rosa Parks
A straw reed climbs the car antenna.
Beyond the tinted glass, golden waves
of grain. Golly! I can’t help
exclaiming, and he smirks—
my born-again naturalist son
with his souped-up laptop,
dear prodigy who insists
on driving the two hours
to the jet he insists I take.
(No turboprops for this
old lady.) On good days
I feel a little meaty; on bad,
a few degrees from rancid.
(Damn knee: I used it this morning
to retrieve a spilled colander;
now every cell’s blowing whistles.)
At least it’s still a body.
He’d never believe it, son of mine,
but I remember what it’s like
to walk the world
with no help from strangers,
not even a personal trainer
to make you feel the burn.
(Most of the time, it’s flutter-heart
and Her Royal Celestial Mustache.
Most of the time I’m broth
instead of honey in the bag.)
So I wear cosmetics maliciously
now. And I like my bracelets,
even though they sound ridiculous,
clinking as I skulk through the mall,
store to store like some ancient
iron-clawed griffin—but I’ve never
stopped wanting to cross
the equator, or touch an elk’s
horns, or sing Tosca or screw
James Dean in a field of wheat.
To hell with wisdom. They’re all wrong.
I’ll never be through with my life.