for Andy Rooney of "60 Minutes"
I wonder if other women almost seventy
find close contact with some men our own age
as terrifying as I do.
Men who've let their eyebrows go feral,
who look as if jungle warfare is being fought
directly above their eyes.
I'm afraid I might get caught in them--
trapped, twisted, bullwhipped and tangled.
And with my arthritic limbs I could
never claw my way out.
Alone in a hotel elevator one morning
destined for free coffee in the lobby,
a beastly-browed fellow joined me on the fifth floor,
a freshly brewed cup in his hands.
The steam stood his eyebrows straight up
wielding the scepter, buck stiff and stalwart.
I pushed the button and bailed.
At a cocktail party I saw Cindy
the chain smoker lean down to kiss
a savage bushranger who reached up for her,
knocked her ash straight into his brows,
set off every sprinkler
and sent us all home sopping.
Cousin Walter of the wolfish brow
ignored my plea, caught the flu and
sneezed so hard and often
he whiped himself to death.
Might not American men be trained to
master the threat of their militant eyebrows
or must we resort to a whip and a chair?
From Hanging Out with Loose Words (FootHills Publishing, 2005).
Used here with the author’s permission.