Poetry

Watching

Wristwatches on her ankles, two each leg

Metal-stretch bands worn bracelet and high-arm          

Sixty-plus, shift-dress flapping from bone-peg.

We sit, three high-school girls minding cool charm,

“You are so beautiful,” she says to us,

“Wish I had had a daughter just like you.”

My two friends watch her: stained dress, hair a muss

Rush off to class, struck-dumb: old face, hands true

I sit hooked by praise, and her grip on time

Those small hearts ticking “always yours” appeal …

Thirty years later, childless, out of time

I watch males look past me to seek new deal

            All men’s watches hugging her legs and arms

            Like motorised muscles—all date, warm palms

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