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By 60 we have lost two hundred thousand things

Three poems by Theresa Rogers

Theresa Rogers divides her time between Vancouver, Canada, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Theresa Rogers divides her time between Vancouver, Canada, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts

I read

  • a person misplaces
  • up to nine objects a day —
  • ashtrays made of painted clay
  • cherry red hula hoops
  • china dolls and diamond rings
  • a father at six.
  • By 60 we have lost
  • two hundred
  • thousand
  • things.

In Memory Care

  • as it turned out
  • you had already gone
  • you took your leave
  • from us in small gasps
  • each exhale measured
  • against the last and the next
  • while I sat
  • in the garden with
  • the squash and borage
  • they grew for the old ones
  • as a kind of prayer against
  • mouldering flesh
  • and abandoned caches
  • of attachment
  • and tried to remember
  • if you had
  • yes I’m sure
  • only barely
  • whispered
  • my name

On becoming an orphan at 60, I will

  • mix a waspy gin vesper
  • and call myself Tess again
  • a childhood name reclaimed
  • with fresh lust
  • shop at Saks and buy myself
  • gauzy blouses, in black,
  • buttoned low to wear to work
  • every day
  • forget to judge the others,
  • especially my sons and
  • yours and maybe our father
  • if I can
  • and measure the time left
  • in silk and ounces

Theresa Rogers currently divides her time between Vancouver, Canada, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and is completing her MFA in poetry at Antioch L.A. She has published in the Cape Cod Poetry Review and various local publications.

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Theresa Rogers divides her time between Vancouver, Canada, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Theresa Rogers divides her time between Vancouver, Canada, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts

I read

  • a person misplaces
  • up to nine objects a day —
  • ashtrays made of painted clay
  • cherry red hula hoops
  • china dolls and diamond rings
  • a father at six.
  • By 60 we have lost
  • two hundred
  • thousand
  • things.

In Memory Care

  • as it turned out
  • you had already gone
  • you took your leave
  • from us in small gasps
  • each exhale measured
  • against the last and the next
  • while I sat
  • in the garden with
  • the squash and borage
  • they grew for the old ones
  • as a kind of prayer against
  • mouldering flesh
  • and abandoned caches
  • of attachment
  • and tried to remember
  • if you had
  • yes I’m sure
  • only barely
  • whispered
  • my name

On becoming an orphan at 60, I will

  • mix a waspy gin vesper
  • and call myself Tess again
  • a childhood name reclaimed
  • with fresh lust
  • shop at Saks and buy myself
  • gauzy blouses, in black,
  • buttoned low to wear to work
  • every day
  • forget to judge the others,
  • especially my sons and
  • yours and maybe our father
  • if I can
  • and measure the time left
  • in silk and ounces

Theresa Rogers currently divides her time between Vancouver, Canada, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and is completing her MFA in poetry at Antioch L.A. She has published in the Cape Cod Poetry Review and various local publications.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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