Aunt Mary Postulates One Sunday at the Nursing Home by Maryfrances Wagner

“You look like your mother today,” she says,
eyebrows arched.  “You’ve cut your hair.
It’s nice enough, but you need poof on top.
We don’t have faces for flat dos.  See how
Jimmy combed my hair.  I’ve got poof.
And I’m wearing Elizabeth Taylor’s cocktail ring.
Jimmy bought it for me on late night TV.
Jewelry of the Stars.  I’m getting Ava Gabor’s
brooch next.  Boy, she had a lot of affairs,
but she had great jewelry.  Speaking of affairs,
Marie Coleman was having one, three doors
down from us, and nobody knew.  I don’t get it.
People could have affairs in here at night.
No one ever comes around to check on us.
We could stop breathing and no one would know.
Necrophiles could neck in here all night long.
Never saw any reason for affairs.  Just a bunch of sex.
The jewelry they get would be nice, but boy, is sex
overrated.  Just a bunch of fiddling around in the dark.
What’s the big deal?  I’d rather go dancing, wear
a mink coat, yeah, white ermine, and diamonds.”

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7 Responses to “Aunt Mary Postulates One Sunday at the Nursing Home by Maryfrances Wagner”

  1. Donal Mahoney Says:

    One damn terrific piece of writing that documents the difference between the sexes and at the same time one of the few advantages of growing old–the complete lack of concern about what anyone thinks when you have something to say.

  2. Alarie Tennille Says:

    Classic example of why Maryfrances Wagner is one of my favorite poets. I especially love the relatives she brings to life on the page.

  3. i’ll buy that. wonder-filled writing. i especially love this line
    “Necrophiles could neck in here all night long.”

  4. Been one of my favorites since the 70s

  5. wow.. new poet for me.. great poem and will def look into why I have not read her words.. Thx Scot!

  6. Tina Hacker Says:

    Maryfrances always comes up with unique ways of looking at the subjects in her poems. Always surprises and content you want to read again and again.

  7. Maryfrances Says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad to hear that Aunt Mary emerges as a strong character.

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