Bio Note: I’m am still reveling in being a hermit, what I’ve always aspired to be. I’ve used this great pause to write more and to read books again, as well as submit more of my work, and make cards. I’m now working on a novel and in the home stretch of my first draft, and still writing a poem every day. My poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Slant, Rattle, The Comstock Review, and The Nation. I live in rural central Virginia in the woods and feed three feral cats who don’t want to come in.
Things I will never have to do again
Change a diaper Play cards Scrub a grill Pitch a tent and sleep on hard ground Pray for a rescue, pray for anything I will never have to be respectful to an employer who’s a jerk, a dick because I need the job to pay bills or fear losing a reference, never again have to laugh or smile politely at racist, sexist jokes Never will I have to write a college paper Draw blood from a patient Iron a man’s shirt Mow the lawn Endure the interview of a first date Swim laps Memorize life cycles of the algae Insert a tampon or diaphragm or worry about getting pregnant No more setting up urine and sputum to grow bacteria and fungi, no more searching through feces for parasites Never again will I have to tiptoe around a crazy person under my roof, apologize to my sister for being born, explain my mother’s candor No more begging Pretending to be aroused Faking an orgasm or two, no more feigning interest in engines, sports, supplements I’ll never again read a book I hate or be tentative when discussing it Finally, I can be silent, let someone else think they can fix it
Originally published in Rat's Ass Review 2022
collect with the years, tossed together in a bowl. Singles without their mates— perfect matches never found again. Wearable art, hand-painted in primary colors, blown glass, lampwork and Murano. Pearls and bugle beads on delicate strings. They huddle together alone, know their worth was as a couple, yet no one tosses them. As pairs, they shined, were loved. Only favorites lose their partners.
Originally published in Artemis Journal, Spring 2019
©2022 Joan Mazza
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL