I sat down to write,

But I couldn’t just yet.

I first had to call my old roommate Annette.

Then I dusted the bedroom, the den and the hall

And tore down the spiderwebs in the guest shower stall.

Then I gave the porch an overdue sweep.

It was covered in oak leaves six inches deep.


It was almost November

So I chanced to remember

That my pumpkin bread was an absolute must

With its crunchy, caramelized, brown-sugar crust.

But I had no sugar, no nutmeg, no flour.

A trip to the market killed another half hour.


Of course there was laundry I couldn’t ignore.

I washed it and dried it until quarter past four.

Then I looked out the window. It was once a nice view.

What it looked like now, I hadn’t a clue.

So I grabbed the Windex and got to work.

I hit every glass pane where smudges might lurk.


That’s when I realized supper was late,

So I said to my husband, “We must celebrate.”

I hadn’t written a word all day,

But the popcorn I whipped up would please a gourmet.


The very next day, I went to a conference

Where there happened to be a preponderance

Of boomer women just like me –

An Erma Bombeck wannabe.

I hoped Erma’s legacy would give me a jump,

Make me pick up my pen and sit down on my rump.


Our keynote speaker that opening night

Was the Cathy cartoonist, Cathy Guisewite.

She was sharp and witty as her comic strip had been

And candid when she told our group of 610

That after retiring, she had only one task –

To write up her memoirs. That’s so little to ask.

At the risk her rep in our eyes would diminish

She confessed that it took her five full years to finish.


Something she said

Must have stuck in my head

Because later that night,

When I should have been in bed,

I fiddled with a poem till I got it just right.

I’ll never be Cathy Guisewite; that much is clear.

I finished my poem in only one year.