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.