At favored pre-dawn hour,
I move from marital to alone bed
To read, write and think.
I pick up a section of Sunday’s NY Times
Plummy with today’s success stories,
Activists achieving noble things
All on the invisible Web.
It's their world now.
I am a bookend about to fall off the shelf.
But they’ve got their reading on digital devices,
So even as a metaphor I am obsolete.
I wrap the old body in colorful shawls,
And take my position on the top shelf.
Gamey leopard on a limb,
I leave the ladders up
A rickety step missing here and there.
I nest the shelves with parrot feathers,
Satin toe shoes,
and moleskin notebooks.
My muses under glass.
Come on up, boys, I beckon,
A fragile odalisque in growly voice.
Bring me your bouquets
Fill those empty vases
I'm not going anywhere.
Remove all earphones
Before you wipe your feet.
Shelf Life, Oil on canvas 36 in.w. by 48 in h.
Judith Austen, $3,000.00