it was all right

she’s a good old girl now.
she’s fattened and greyed.

we were lovers many years
ago.
there was a child.
there is a child.
now a woman.

this woman gave me
a tape
of her mother
talking about poetry
and her life and
reading her
poems.

an hour long tape.

I listened to it.
unfortunately
the poetry wasn’t
very good
but most poetry
isn’t.

she went on talking
about
poetry workshops,
various influences–
family, friends, her
husband (I
wasn’t) who didn’t
seem to like her
writing poetry.

she kept a notebook
near her bed
and one in her
purse.

she talked about
this and that.

I was happy for her
that they allowed her
on a radio station
for an hour.
I’d heard worse
from professors who
had made
literature
their trade.

and as I listened
to her voice
it was the
same voice
I’d heard
20 years ago

when I dropped in
on her place
on Vermont Avenue
and found her
feeding sugar
to the ants
in her room
and there were
many ants
there
but she had
a great body
then
and I was
hard-up as
hell.

it was a
good hour,
Fran.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1983