//swans and gurus work on
SWANS ON THE STRAND
(C) BY ELIZABETH SOUTHWOOD 1998 (FIRST PLACE 4/6/98)
this one?? (May 6) - retirees question?
In the crowd
of those attending
her new apartment house mixer,
she's a period
at the end of a deleted
sentence. Her voice
is soft, like her graying hair.
She's developing a relationship
with the cement-gray wall
When she speaks,
what she says, she knows, is
caught in a spider web
of time and carries the aura
of another era.
She's crinkly as an autumn leaf;
not like the others,
whose cheeks are smooth as acorns;
who laugh politely
while making plans for rollerblading
on The Strand.
She longs for someone
her own age to talk to.
She'd been told there were retirees here.
She pinches the base of her thumb,
feeling as out-of-place as Alice,
only old instead of humongous.
Within a month, she's strolling
out of her fenced and blossoming patio
in a picture hat and flowing,
flowered diaphanous dress
along The Strand with her equally elderly beau,
waving sedately at all her young neighbors
as they whiz past on their Rollerblades,
and smile at the beaming duo.