Friday, 10 April 2020


by Ann Cooper

One of the weekday rituals
when I was very young, 
was chatting with my father,
while he shaved.

He wore a towel around his waist,
which one day slipped and fell,
picked up so fast
that all I saw was hair 
as thick and black as that familiar mat 
upon his chest,
and something small and pink.

But then he apologized—
And later on, that night,
did it again, hinting

that what I hadn’t really seen or registered
was something I should never see,
a source of both embarrassment and threat.

Times have changed in oh so many ways,
but too many women,
I for one,
have learned that all too often
this is true.

* * * * *

Ann Cooper is a flatlander who now lives in Middlebury, Vermont. She is semi-retired after careers in maternity, editing, consulting, chaplaincy, and politics, leaving her time now to write.  Inspiration comes unexpectedly: a phrase, a sight, a random word, experience. While publishing her work is always gratifying, the joy in writing, for her, comes from trying to grasp the ephemeral and make it sing.

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