Grandmothers throw themselves into the street,
Caterwauling, burning their ancient caches
Of diaries and grosgrain lingerie.
No more to hope for, now that loss has come,
Unpacked in the great room, fixed itself a snack,
And cut the landline. Tell the tailor no:
Alteration belongs to yesterday.
The authorized watchers do not want to watch.
Where younger pain explodes, this just hangs on,
Nor all that long. The actuarials
Identify themselves and confiscate
Running shoes of the stationary kind,
The keening widows and the flattened fraus
Not vigorous enough for knitted sleeves.
The grandmothers grow smaller, they retreat,
Much larger women on their wedding days.
Their children now have dewlaps. Here come vans
As big as percherons. The women grip
Their sorrow and will not be dragged away.
By morning they will be a little field
Of husk and hull, a compost now assoiled.