Two of the Furies

By Lucia Perillo Lucia Perillo
The old woman in the parking lot
wields her walker not unspryly. Gray hair
lank and without style, hanging
under her ski hat, as I wear a ski hat—
her legs bare under her skirt,
my legs bare under my skirt,
she wears sneakers, I wear sneakers—
windbreaker, windbreaker. She rolls up
to watch me board, as people do,
because it is interesting
to see the wheelchair maneuvered backward
into the van. You got it?
she asks, as people do
though I am not their child.
We are not sisters either,
despite the wind’s ruffling our skirts in sync—
oh how she is interested in the ruffling of my skirt.
The ruffle makes her giddy, starts
her bald gums racing on their wordless observations
as she peers into my thighs.
How alike we are! says this
no-sister of mine to be argued with,
just some crazy old woman
flashing the terrible crater of her smile
to raise the wind and
prove her point.

Lucia Perillo, “Two of the Furies” from Inseminating the Elephant. Copyright © 2009 by Lucia Perillo. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: Inseminating the Elephant (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)

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Poet Lucia Perillo

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Relationships, Social Commentaries

 Lucia  Perillo


Lucia Perillo is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Dangerous Life (1989), which won the Norma Farber Award from the Poetry Society of America; The Body Mutinies (1996), winner of the Kate Tufts prize from Claremont University; The Oldest Map with the Name America (1999); Luck is Luck (2005), which was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and won the Kingsley Tufts prize from Claremont University; . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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