Don’t expect quiet elegance
in my riper years,
no St. John knits in subtle hues,
blue hair tamed and coiffed into a docile bun
at the base of a creased neck,
no skeins of yarn to convert into afghans
nor loyal cats to share my bed.
Don’t look for me at AARP conventions
sipping Earl Grey tea from a bone china cup.
Listen, instead, for trumpets and kettle drums,
green feather boas and rhinestone lemurs
dancing from my ears.
Serve me chocolate martinis
in the boudoir.
I will learn to samba,
change my name to Scarlett
and wear heels so high
you could mistake them for stilts.
I will paint
all the walls in my house red,
the red of cherries and geraniums
fire engines and rhubarb.
And I will have a clawfoot bathtub
in the center of my bedroom,
an aubergine duvet, a mirrored ball
that sprinkles stars as it spins.
And if I need a walker, make it neon pink
with flecks of glitter
and strings of wisteria climbing each leg.
Do not presume some gentle grace
will wrestle me into refinement,
I will be wild splendor
eating tangerines, naked,
on the balcony.
Julie Chafets Grass is a life and leadership coach, now specializing in preparing clients for post-pandemic professions. Her work has appeared in literary journals including Northwest Review, PoemMemoryStory and Lilith Magazine, and she has published a book of poetry “The Queen of MORE; Poems by her Sidekick.”