Sunday, 5 February 2012

Nancy Scott

The Old Woman at the End of the Block

I was running out of time
so I decided to pay a visit
to the 103-year-old woman
who lived at the end of the block.
With measuring cup in hand,
I rang the doorbell, and asked,
“Could you spare a year or two?”
She invited me in for tea
and, while pouring Oolong
into chipped porcelain, she said,
“I could give up 1982.
It wasn’t a good year for me.”
She hesitated.
“No, I’ll give you 1956 instead,
a stellar year. You look as if
you could use some luck.”
We were chatting about
the weather and such, when
she leaned over and whispered,
“If you need more time,
come see me again,
because after I’m dead,
what good is time then.”
I thanked her profusely,
and, with cup filled to the brim,
I took my sweet time home.

Nancy Scott is an artist and author of five books of poetry.
She is also managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal
of the U.S.1 Poets' Cooperative in Central New Jersey.
More information and a gallery of her collages can be found

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