The late 1990s. A family function
at Uncle Bobby's. Some elderly widow,
no kin of mine and nobody familiar,
pumped me for my life-story. Twenty-nine,
I proffered. Married? she asked. No.
Twenty-nine and not married!
she sneered to her graying daughter.
I think she might have even said, O-ho!
If the woman had been thinking,
here's a good match for my Cindy,
she'd have made some pleasant joke
to that effect. But no. Her tone
said something else.
My mother was sitting next to me
but didn't catch the implication.
Still, her presence restrained me
from answering the old biddy
with venom. Had Dad been nearby
instead of remembering the old days
amid my gathered uncles,
he'd have bluntly asked the woman
what the hell she meant by that.
Years after the exchange, I recalled
that President Kennedy was thirty-six
before he married Jackie.
Dear Mrs Quizzybody,
you're probably in your grave now.
May your purgatory be long and hot.
And by the way, fifty-one. Still not married.
Make of that what you will.
Poetry by Thomas D
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Written on 2020-06-29 at 14:42
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