It’s a small town and still
you haven’t seen her daily
wanderings on the boardwalk
and shoulders of Highway 20
south of the Methow bridge
or east of the West Chewuch
Road between the Red Barn
and the Little Dipper under
the stars or broad daylight.
She moves like an absent-bodied
ghost which in some ways she is
unsteady on feet and swaying
in mind if she knew you once
she won’t remember your name
if you knew her you also won’t
recognize her face fresh from bed
rolled out of the town-close house
so the kids can keep tabs on her
and she can meander as needs
be for groceries and exercise
without danger from dementia
or Alzheimer’s or lasting effects
of sudden and catastrophic viral
meningitis in time of Covid 19
and January 6 and other national
and particularly personal disasters.
She used to be a thespian.
She used to be a grandmother.
She used to be a mother and wife.
She traveled extensively.
She married a man who gave her
a lift while thumbing from Vegas.
She hitchhiked her way around
the entire world before settling
in the United States of America.
She hung out with the Beatles
at a St. Pauli keller in Hamburg
speaking German-tinged English
though you wouldn’t know it now
and neither would she.
Oh, the stories she could tell.
Oh, the stories she once did.
Oh, the stories she can’t.
Oh, Winthrop Woman.