As For The Heart

By Erin Belieu

I am come to the age
of pondering my lastness:
buying what seems likely
my final winter coat at Macy’s,
or when a glossy magazine
(so very blithely)
asks me to renew. As for

my heart, that pixilated
tweener, how long
I’ve been required to baby
her complaints,

alarmed and stubborn clock,
refusing to listen even as
the more intrepid tried.

Now, she mostly mutters
to herself, though
occasionally there’s
some clanging, a tinny sound,
like the radiator in a Southie
triple decker, fractious as
a pair of cowboy boots
in a laundromat’s dryer.

It’s always been
this joke old people know—
in such a state
of nearly doneness,
the world grows sweeter,
as if our later days
are underscored with music
from a concerto’s saddest
oboe hidden in the trees.

Just today,
while standing in the kitchen,
my son complained nonstop
about his AP Psych class
while wolfing warmed up
bucatini from a crazed,
pink china bowl.

Shiny, kvetching creature.
Even if I could tell him
what he doesn’t want to know,
I wouldn’t. But now,

the pissy storm that’s spent
all afternoon flapping like
a dirty sheet
has wandered off
to spook some other

There’s one barbed weed
pushing up greenly through
my scruffy loropetalum.

And it falls on me, this little
cold rain the day has left.

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