What Women Do

By Penny Perry


Red headed, bank teller Patsy, dress heels,
bugles Poppies, lupines, tugs me into a twilight
of new green leaves and sweet sage. Young
Lisa, scent of lavender she pruned this morning
still on her hands says Anna hummingbirds wraps
a lilac shawl around my perennial black turtleneck.
My friends pretend not to notice dark jump ropes
under my eyes or the narrow squint of the shell shocked.
Maria menopausal in peony pink sweats guides
me on the trail of her favorite beach. Pewter waves
thundering I pray my daughter will live. White haired
Miss Arleen, pearls, old-money green linen dress
braves Roberto’s sawdust floor feeds me fish tacos.
Over the blare of Mariachi trumpets, she covers my hand
with hers, tells me New meds will kick in.
I want to ignore the insistent spring. My next door neighbor
master-gardener Linda, in dirt spattered jeans, dusty clogs,
serves me tea, pots succulents for my patio.



About Penny Perry

PennyPerryKateHardingMugPenny Perry is a six-time Pushcart Prize nominee in poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in California Quarterly, Lilith, Redbook, Earth’s Daughter, the Paterson Literary Review and the San Diego Poetry Annual.

Her first collection of poems, Santa Monica Disposal & Salvage (Garden Oak Press, 2012) earned praise from Marge Piercy, Steve Kowit, Diane Wakoski and Maria Mazziotti Gillan.

She writes under two names, Penny Perry and Kate Harding.


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