I walked in late, carrying the cake.
Picked dessert because I knew my
doctor’s appointment would run over,
it always does.
Then the ladies, the other four, could still
start on time; they did, all now looking at
the cake box with anticipatory unbridled
Saying ‘come on in, here, sit down, let me put
the casserole back on the table for you, how have you been,
are you hungry, you look thin,
The last seat left is next to Karen, on her right side,
not as good now after the stroke, hard to hear so she needs a little help
with the cutting and finishing sentences, take it gladly,
knowing I can just listen.
Susie takes up the topic again, the one she always leads,
conversation about politics and such, many opinions
emerge from her Restylane- filled mouth, now no cracks around the lips
except the ones about the other guy.
Our bagwana, Mary, breathes deeply through her nose
blows it out through whistling purse of mouth, saying kind things
to us all, encouraging Karen to take
‘We have been doing this a long time’, this from Linda,
who lives in the middle so we use her place to gather
then everyone can get home early, not have to drive
in the dark.
‘Can anyone remember the first time we met?’
‘I do, I do, I do,’ said more times than all the marriages among us,
not really, because that would be
hard to do.
‘We were kids, then, thought we had the world by the tail,
brave young women, yeah? And pretty.’
‘We are still brave, who wants cake?’
How can I? should I?
tell them I’ll be the first to leave.