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P.J. Wren


P.J. Wren is a writer and a scientist. Her poems have been published in The Lake and Gnarled Oak, among others, links at

Around the Block with Mrs. Prufrock

(apologies to T.S. Eliot)

Siccome non le dici a nessuno, ti le dico, tutta la verità.
Sei un buon cane. Sedersi, ti dico. Buon cane!

Let us go then, you and I,
Once more around the block.
Yes, it’s midnight and raining but your bladder’s
Not what it used to be. At least the night sky
Glows with reflected light like a dead duck.
Oh, do not ask me with your eyes
Where or when. Is it not enough
That it has been?

In the garage the teenagers assemble
And resemble how we once dissembled.

And there will be time yet to wonder
Why the hairs grow upon my chin,
What took my lips and gave me back
Elbow crust and finger cracks.
Worst are the resting frown and furrows.
Did you say highlights?
No, it’s just gray. That sorrow’s

Nothing compared to what cream and marmalade
Have made around my middle.
Spanx it here
It pops out there. Do I dare? Do I dare?
Don’t I need to take in air?

And in the garage the teenagers assemble
And dissemble, they resemble
What we once were.

And I have known an Italian’s abs already,
Taut and sweaty. I gripped them on a careening Vespa
Speeding through the streets of Firenze.

And would it have been worth it, then, or now,
To follow the dark streets to open-windowed rooms,
Where settles the yellow fog and ancient perfumes
That gather against oblivion?

No. I do not fear death. But hey, Romeo, thanks for the lift.

I will have my tea and toast.
I will brush my white hair wavy and blown back,
Like the wind blows the water white and black.
I will linger in the chamber, with blankets to warm my toes.
And as for sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown,
Nice dream, but human voices wake me,
And I have shopping to do in town.


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