• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 08
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From One Refrain to the Next

Back then, when I lived life as if it were a song,
when each minute was a note, each day its refrain,
when a rude suggestion could make me blush red,
back then I thought I’d be content to reach 50,
maybe die blowing out my birthday candles.
Back then, when I wasn’t afraid of everything,

I was once very adventurous…

When I was 24, I packed an overnight bag and
drove to the airport. Took the next available flight.
Any flight.                I ended up in Chicago.

Stayed in a pokey hotel room with hundreds
of hibernating ladybugs asleep in the sash window
frames, and ivy that rooted itself in the brickwork.

No one goes to Chicago in the depths of winter.
But I did. Back then, I wasn’t afraid of anything,
back then, when I lived from one refrain to the next.

I’m a few steps off 70 now, and I like staying
near home mostly. I’m rooted deep in my comforts.
I’m just another old lady who writes too much poetry.
Last month, my granddaughter said,

“Nanna you’re very old. Are you going to die soon?”
“Yes, one day," I told her, "but probably not today.”
I was explicit: probably. I’m not sure where I’ll be
pushing up roots from one refrain to the next.