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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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