For Dylan Thomas Who Also Did Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

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,

to mambo,

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,

garnet red

toenail 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.


Join me.

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.”