I’m retired from my work as a microbiologist and later as a psychotherapist. I love the freedom to do as I please, to create handmade one-of-a-kind cards or sew quilts, or work on poetry, dipping in and out of it like a tern running along the shore. By reading and writing poetry, I come to terms with my obsessions. www.JoanMazza.com
I’ve always made the wrong attachments
to people who remained remote and out
of reach, starting with my father. He made
clear he didn’t like children, saw them
as a drain, too costly for his hoarding
quarters. My sister saw me as an interloper,
someone sent to upstage her, steal
her glory and mess with her makeup.
But I attached. No, I worshipped them
and shunned my mother, who intruded,
had no sense of privacy when she checked
my underwear, went through my papers,
told my first boyfriend to stay away.
My daughter is going to college; you’re not!
For years I wondered why he’d stopped
calling. I was fifty when I learned this news
from him. Wonders of the Internet! Married
for the third time, he said, I’ve thought of you
every day for thirty-five years. But he never
tried to find me. In those decades, I attached
to men who didn’t know how to love,
latched on even though they warned me
against such foolishness. I held fast,
a sucky-needy leech to those who tried
to shake me off. I catch friends who like
to move on to new and more exciting friends,
pets who don’t live long enough, to coworkers,
therapists. Enamored of vases that broke,
earrings that broke away. Attachments unavailable,
ephemeral. People who ran faster than I could.
Wait for me! They picked up the pace, disappeared
from view, stopped taking my calls.
© 2017 Joan Mazza
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