An Old Woman in a Dry Season

By Claire Scott

after T. S. Eliot

An old woman in a dry season
wandering worrying wondering
waiting for rain
where is the wisdom promised
where is the juice & joy

to moisten my sterile soul
today Carlota brought me home
guiding my elbow, checking to be
sure the stove was off, the windows locked
plenty of towels & toilet paper

really? who cares?
I no longer cook. OK
my cupboards almost bare. OK
only dry cereal in expired boxes
shredded wheat & Special K

tucked in the back of the top shelf
where mice clamor at night
keeping me company at that stagnant hour
no tea sipped at the morning table
while doing the daily crossword

quick to find:
jumpy little bugger: flea
wool source: llama
monk’s home: abbey

now my mind refuses to cooperate
bit of muesli: blank
Maya Angelou: blank

I live on dog-eared memories
stained scrapbooks
with withered spines
the present wrapped in
a shroud of the past
which is slowly but surely
becoming the shroud of the future
my future

& still no rain

 

Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Healing Muse and Vine Leaves Literary Journal, among others. Her first book of poetry, Waiting to be Called, was published in 2015. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.