by Carol Grametbauer

 

My friend says when she’s seventy-five
she will have lived long enough. Single
and childless, not wanting to burden
her friends, she’s worked out

 
what she’ll do—one bottle of hoarded pills
and one of good bourbon, a spot she’s picked
at the base of a hickory toward the bottom

 
of her back yard, next to a creek. She’ll bring
a book along, one good enough
to keep her distracted but not so good
she won’t want to put it down when the time

 
is right. And I think she might
be on to something, especially if the day
is pleasant, Indian summer but with winter

 
coming on: no need to go through that again.
I imagine her propped against the shaggy trunk,
a light jacket over her shoulders
if there’s a breeze, perhaps a derelict katydid

 
creaking high overhead—
a few quick swallows with a whiskey chaser,
a few pages in her dog-eared paperback,

 
the creek mumbling in the background,
its sunless water sliding over rocks.


CAROL GRAMETBAUER is the author of two chapbooks, Homeplace (Main Street Rag, 2018) and Now & Then (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared in journals including Appalachian Heritage, Connecticut River Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, and in a number of anthologies.


Photo: “West Coast Adventure 2010” by Rebecca Wilson