On Being Slow
by Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
It has always taken me so long
to understand, to "see," to say "oh,
that's what that means."
It has also always taken me so long
to get to where ever I may be headed
if not determined by roads, tracks,
ferries, or air routes.
Neither defect was overwhelming
except to a loved one here and there
or an unloved one there and here;
It was also not overwhelming when
there was plenty of time ahead of me
and not so much in back as there is
this year or will be next.
I've always disliked the current generation
badmouthing the one about to overtake it,
especially when I am one of the current
and I am always one of some "current."
Perhaps because I've always been so slow
it takes me so much time to understand
that I'm not needed or not in the same way,
that those who sincerely depend on me
will be as able to transfer their loyalties
like I have, in my own disquieting insistence
on keeping myself whole.
It has also taken some time for me to see
that if found dead, my body would no longer
be reported as that of a young woman
and that if I’m lucky “mature sexuality” will last
until old age creeps in, so slowly - or suddenly -
I won’t notice until it’s long gone
~ previously published in DUFUS (Lummox Press)