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Artifice
by
Alice N. Persons


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Confession: when the fire alarm went off in the hotel
I grabbed my wallet and laptop
and pulled my raincoat on over my nightgown
but I also hastily combed my hair
and swiped on some lipstick.
I'm the woman at the all-female retreat
who puts on mascara for a hike in the woods.
It's not that I can't stand my naked face
but presentation counts, and old habits persist.
Maybe it's my Southern roots
though by Southern girly standards
I'm underdressed, un-made up,
certainly insufficiently bejeweled
and accessorized.
I admire how vanity falls away
from some wise, aging women
but I don't see it happening to me.
When I'm ninety I'll still flirt
with cabdrivers and my doctor,
and be the wily rebel
who smuggles a robe
into the nudist resort.


From Be Careful What You Wish For (Moonpie Press, 2003)
© by Alice N. Persons
Used with the author's permission.

 

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Alice N. Persons was born in Massachusetts, grew up in the Army, and graduated from high school in Virginia. After earning a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law, she worked as a copy editor, bartender, waitress, and secretary before becoming an English teacher. Alice began writing and publishing poetry in the 1980s; she is the author of three chapbooks, her work has have been published in various journals and anthologies, and her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice. She is co-founder of Moon Pie Press which has published more than forty books, and serves on the board of Port Veritas, a spoken word collective in Portland. A resident of Maine since 1983, Alice is an active volunteer at several animal welfare organizations and provides a home for four cats and a dog.


Post New Comment:
joecot:
Just discovered this wonderful poem 6 years after publication here. Let me say: Lovely poem. In its truth, you drop the makeup -- and the robe.
Posted 12/14/2016 12:52 PM


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