At 46 I’m traveling for months, alone.
Over the hill and on the road!
Everyone tells me how they’re jealous:
Lucky you! they cry. Lucky me!
Lucky me, sure. In essentials I can’t say
They’re wrong, but: would it be fair
If being an unemployed, childless widow
Had no benefits? I ask. That shuts them up.
When it happened, Lily the fruit-monger
Thought he had left me. One eyebrow rose,
One rough, inquisitional crag. Where is.
Your husband. Haven’t seen. Long time.
I gave one word: Dead. (He’d left me alright).
Came out just like that. Better than blubbering
That he had passed, like a gallstone or as some Jews
Among WASPs. Or had passed on, like rejection.
Shut Lily up, too: The most natural utterance.
Name the thing what the thing is: It won’t kill you.
My indelicacy, Lily’s gall: Now, I could talk
About dying forever—except who lives so long?