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Louise Hawes: My muse at seventy-something

"Diaphanous!?" My muse spits the word
 out, as though it's a bony cuttlefish.
"I don't do diaphanous!"

When she's not shooting hoops, my muse 
wears cargo pants with so many pockets
we both forget where she's put those
inspired ideas, all our lost tickets to ride. 
She hunts them with frantic pat-downs: 
chest, waist, both hips, each thigh.

My muse is so tall I have to shade my eyes 
to find her scowl. Like I did at the agency, 
where we spent our days thinking outside
boxes and running stuff up the flagpole.
I salute, then study her face, flushed and 
dimpled, to my washed out and cold.

My muse claims she was born with a caul. 
Me? I'm an incubator baby, playing it safe, 
revising as I go, perfection my drug of choice. 
My muse favors swear words and free writes, 
sex scenes with the woman on top, breasts 
and prolapses dangling in hot, cruel light. 

My muse is fast; her legs, long, relentless, 
churn like propellers. She seldom stops to 
explain where we're going. "Showing up,"
she barks at me, "is 98 percent of the game." 
So I follow, grim, puffing out a faint morse 
code: help needed, battery drained.

Sometimes, when my distress registers, and 
my limitations startle her peripheral vision, 
my muse adjusts her garland and comes to a 
reluctant halt. It's time for some hope, a goal:
"Chill out," she says, patting my head. "Just
think of this as cross-training for the soul."

Copyright 2022 Louise Hawes

Louise Hawes is the author of two short fiction collections and over a dozen novels. The Language of Stars, a mixed-format novel inspired by research into the life and work of Robert Frost, includes prose, playscripts, and poetry. Louise helped found and teaches at, the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. 

Louise Hawes

14 comments on “Louise Hawes: My muse at seventy-something

  1. L. Marie
    September 19, 2022

    Oh Louise! You are splendid!


    • louisehawes
      September 19, 2022

      Thank you! This was pure fun to write!


  2. louisehawes
    September 17, 2022

    Thanks so much! I hope we can all meet here in a few decades to hear from our Centenarian Muses! ๐Ÿ˜Ž


  3. louisehawes
    September 17, 2022

    Thanks, Laura. Let’s all meet here in a few decades to hear from our “Centenarian Muses.” ๐Ÿ˜Ž


  4. Barbara Huntington
    September 17, 2022

    I love it when I read a poem and can selfishly reply. Me! Me! Youโ€™ve found me! Over here! This is wonderful


  5. Rose Mary Boehm
    September 17, 2022

    Love this. Made me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. loranneke
    September 17, 2022

    Such fun to read — and so true (I’m 79 after all!)

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2022 by in Humor and Satire, Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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