Friday, October 07, 2005

Midlife Chrysalis

When you were just a babe

(you still are, but you know what I mean)
lying around in a crib
the mobile over your head
was like a fan,
going around and around,
about as exciting as life got those days.
You got a little older
And to fan changed meaning.
You ran around in the yard
Flailing your arms over your head
You were “fanning” around.
Life was sweet
Before long,
Boys had caught your eye
And a fan was something
Used to dry that nail polish.
Had to keep yourself looking good
(what’s that you say . . . still doing nails huh?)
Next stage of a fan-
Music groupie
Hard core
Dyed in the wool
Music groupie,
Be it Elvis,
Dave of the Monkies
Or Manilow…
Pretty soon
College came
Hot dorms
No air in sight
You came to naturally
Dry your hair
And you bought a fan.
That helped some.
Next stage in life
You became a wife
You got a house
And a spouse
Mantel there with fireplace
Now your fan had a different face
One of floral d├ęcor…
But oh, there’s more…
Now fan means
To make a dash
And grab a magazine
For hot flash
means fan like crazy.
Fan away Miz Daisy…
And get the oxygen tank

There’s a boa ‘round her neck.

Is it constricting?

Can she get air?

Get an ambulance

We’re all a nervous wreck.

She’s passing out-

Does anybody care?

What’s that you say?

“There’s six snakes now-

all red-“ Great day-

Save us all somehow!

Train those snakes

Don’t make ‘em too tight

Look, now some are purple

Oh what a fright.

Loosen that thing

Drape it on your chest

Let it just swing

Yeah, that feels the best.

Take a deep breath

Now exhale- ahhhh.

Isn’t that better?

Yeah, better by far.

‘Cause word was
that like me…
she walked on the wild side
This former PTA mom
The one who always baked cookies
Kept everything all neat and clean
Kept her feelings on the inside.
Must have been that midlife thing
The one that had her buy a Mustang
A convertible, red to be exact,
It matched her hat…
Such change her age did bring…
You’d see her coming
Purple boa stretched out in the wind
Hat beside her on the seat
Usually with a red hat friend
Both of them smiling… sunning…
And maybe just to be wild
A pair of dice hanging down
In utter rebellion against good taste
Besides at fifty, she dared anyone
To denounce that smile…
Especially on the romance aisle
We like those books
Both her and me…
One day I felt a lust for lust
And found a lookout I could trust.
No one around the romance aisle
‘twas there a frown replaced my smile
When wandered my friend from lookout post
‘Twas her betrayal that hurt the most.
Just to browse through one or two
Or three or four
Heck, before I knew it
It was even more.
And my friend back there
With the eagle eye
Had seen some shoes
She had to try
To my dismay,
My pedestal got lowered a bit
When I turned around
I had a fit.
“Reverend Thomas,” I stuttered
as my face turned red.
I closed the tome of bath and bed.
He had the tact and blessed grace
To help a woman save her face.
“Comparison shopping today I see,”
then he looked and laughed at me.
“The subtle ones are over there,”
with sweeping hand, he pointed where.
“My wife reads ‘em every one.”
My face glowing like the sun.
Then came friend with shoes in hand
Ready for the checkout stand
I smirked at her with hint of malice
“Just don’t work at Buckingham Palace.”
Her face turned red
As the hat on my head
But I shook it off instead
Cause I’m
Living life to the brim,
I’m full of spunk and desire.
My red hat runneth over
Ready to set the world on fire
Hobbies to try, places to go
Classes to take
New folks to know.
My nest is empty
My mind is not
A busy calendar
Is what I have got.
Fill it to the brim with enthusiasm,
fill it to the brim with fun,
fill it to the brim with compassion,
Until my days are done…
And when I die,
please don’t wear black
Put some purple on your back…
Play some jazz
Eat some cake
Don’t just cry
For heaven’s sake.
Or better yet
You can wear red
To celebrate my life instead.
Just like I’d wear on girl’s night out…
When I’d even circled the date
Making sure he wouldn’t forget…
He did anyway.
“It’s girls’ night,” I laughed
as I put on my feather boa
adjusted my hat – fixed my face,
pushed my worries away…
“A frozen dinner’s in the fridge.
I won’t be home ‘til late.”
He glanced up from the classifieds
And then had this to say…
“You go charge your battery dear.
Have fun with your friends.
let down your hair and chill a while,
Go enjoy your stay…”
“I’ll stay home with Sara Lee.
She makes a mean cheesecake.
Go off in that bright red hat
And celebrate the day.”
He knows when I come back home
With batteries all charged up
The Energizer Bunny’s back
And sometimes wants to play…
After Girls’ Night Out.
So wouldn’t you say…
That fifty is the new thirty
Sounds good to me
I’m just getting my second wind
How about you?
Fifty is the new thirty
That makes sixty become forty
And seventy is fifty girlfriend…
Do you agree too?
So look out life, here we come
A force to be reckoned with
Each and every one
And our numbers aren’t few.
No fading into the woodwork for us
Invisible we are not
Gaining the attention
To which we are due…
How about you?
Cause you’re One Hot Mama-
There’s a song by that name

You’ve heard it before

But ain’t it true

You’re one hot mama.

Reading romance books

You brought home from the store

It stokes your fire

You’re one hot mama.

Wearing shells when it’s cold

Almost nothing when it’s not

Yeah ain’t it true

You’re one hot mama.

Who cares if you’ve got lines

Yeah maybe one or two

But what lies beneath

Is one hot mama

who remembers periods
When they weren’t just
Something at the end of a sentence,
Punctuation like a dot or a dash-
Now my life is punctuated
By fanning myself from a hot flash.
In younger days, we studied
Dangling participles and split infinitives,
Now there’s something quite definitive
About my taste-
It’s for dangling earrings and banana splits
And I don’t give a rip if it’s good for my shape.
The bigger the fish…
The bigger the SPLASH!

By Phyl Johnson

Copyright 2005 by Phyl Johnson.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.