Pioneer Cafe, Montana Morning

Ladies of a Certain Age,
girls no more
except in the heart:
What Life has given,
you have taken
despite the dreams you had,
intentions and resistance:
Age acquiring resilience
for survival’s sake
when life is hard
or dull beyond endurance.

Power’s in the circle
around the cafe table
every morning every day
except Sundays maybe:
Ladies, older, aging
socialize despite
because of Life;
finding, making,sharing,
building power
’round this table
this gathering of feminine
endurance, amusement–
Even, some days, joy!

The Pert Young Thing,
trailing young good-looking Fella–
full of certainty, resolve,
and years-to-come–
prances past
in her low-cut denims,
bouncing perm of wild curls…
Spares not a glance
towards the Ladies of A Certain Age.

Her dreams
her angers
her determination
not yet tested, not yet tried
nor slapped around by Life–
as long as Fella’s true
and things continue
looking up.

The Ladies come and go;
Pull in the extra chair as needed.
The conversation does not lag–
not often, anyway, does
the stream of interaction fail,
fall into gaps of
pensive individuality
for just an instant,
before the shield of gossip,
cheery news, and practicalities–

asserts itself again.
There is no evil spoken
at this early hour
over coffee, cream,
the solace of bacon and
well-buttered toast,
oatmeal with raisins…
No, in the morning
hope and cheer
and charity prevail.

The Ladies of a Certain Age
observe the Pert Young Thing–
They may judge or not
but do not doubt
her chair is waiting.


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