This is a poem by Lois Marie Harrod.
for my grandmother
You love their dogged attention,
elderly men ready to lick your hand
slick themselves under
your good knuckles, obey
if they can
just hobble across the room—
their love me, love me
wobbling towards you
like a puppy with an old soft shoe.
And you know yourself,
your nose, a faded rose
and your hips—that ruined altar
where once they worshipped— arthritic.
And yet they are still begging their bone,
their scrap, what can it be but habit?
And you reach out your hand
and scratch behind their hairy earlobes
and feel a bit sorry for them, deep down
wasn’t that what you always felt,
a kind of pity for men tied to their bodies
in a way, for all your former silkiness,
you were not.
Lois Marie Harrod’s 17th collection Woman is forthcoming from Blue Lyra in February 2020. Her Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks; her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016; Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. A Dodge poet, she is published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches at the Evergreen Forum in Princeton and at The College of New Jersey. Links to her online work is found on www.loismarieharrod.org.