Eileen Ivey graduated Smith College School for Social Work in 1975 and has
been a clinical social worker in and around Washington, D.C. since that
time. An enthusiastic late-comer to poetry, this is her maiden voyage in
You said it was a typo
When I told you of Margaret Mead’s
Theory of post-menopausal zest.
Pioneering the urban woods
Behind your apartment—
We used to call it the Rapist Trail—
That last summer you lived here.
Wearing sandals with socks,
Braless beneath your tank top,
You rebuffed all concessions to time.
Scarves, the last refuge of the middle aged,
Were anathema to you.
“You must have me confused
With someone my age,” you said.
Trips to the hospital, unexplained.
Not one to make your plumbing public,
“A problem with my fairy dust,” you said.
Do women past child-bearing—
The rearing, cooking, caring—
Get new energy and wit?
No, you said, she meant to type
Now I see you, shabby enchanter,
In another forest
With Margaret Mead