Hairport, Cairo, New York (3 people)

70 year old woman named RI

I’d like to shave my head
just to see if I can handle it.

Mary, mid 40’s

My husband has
a good job
in the toll both
on the Taconic.
But he only cares
about golf.
Watches golf
on TV.
Reads golf magazines.
He plays on his time off.
I’m thinking of leaving.
I hate golf.

Sam, 22

I want to be
something like
a man. What I mean
is not a young girl.

Liz is 57 now (Part 2 2 2)

Liz moved to California
where she married Number Two.
And then he died.
They had 2 little boys.
Friends fixed her up with Walter.
He listened to FOX news
and thought CNN was Communist
but otherwise, he was OK.
Liz raised all 5 kids (3 + 2)
and traveled with Walter
to San Juan on vacation.
She went back to school
and wrote a successful book.
She called it STRIPPER.

Liz is 57 Now (part one)

She’s from Wisconsin.
Her father left
when she was eight
years old. He was
an alcoholic. Her mother
had four kids.
When Liz was eighteen, she married
an older guy.
Much older.
A month later, he was
arrested for robbing
a bank. She got a divorce,
became an exotic dancer,
and went to community college
where she majored in nutrition.

Where My Family Came From

I don’t really know
because no one
said much
all anxious to be
Americans to be
doctors, etcetera.
Not Eastern Europeans,
persecuted, poor.
Maybe farmers.

My father’s mother Rivka
she was short and difficult
and she had thin lips.
Widowed young, she listened
to the stock market on the radio.
That was her English.
My father brought her fresh bread.
He had to lie about the price.

We grew up living as though the past
whatever it looked like
the past was entirely over.
Years later, I know that nothing
nothing is entirely over. Ever.

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