Heads Up

Heads Up*

When I am an old woman, I will make street art.
And wear purple gowns with green glitter orthopedic shoes and I’ll carry
a cane with a skull on top who has candy pez for eyes.
I will spend my social security check on mochi and bourbon
and say we’ve no money for leafy greens.

I will carry a carpet bag filled with spraypaint cans and
wheatpaste dispensers that look like tubes of Ben-Gay,
and I will put up clever street art any time of the day or night that pleases me.
They will call me Gramsky.

I will scold people loudly in public when they are
wearing too much perfume or cologne,
and push all the elevator buttons as I exit,
and request that other people take me out to dinner and pick up the check.

You can wear ugly hats everyday and all your jewelry at once,
and say bizarre things that are inside jokes with yourself,
and steal potted plants, and cut in line,
and paint a whole room electric lime green,
and give out unsolicited unedited opinions,
and make special requests which will always be accommodated.

But now we must write grant proposals,
And wear bland, non-threatening business casual,
And pay our student loans and get along with our roomates,
And talk about our jobs at dinner parties,
And tweet about nothing of importance.

But maybe, I ought to practice a little now?
So that the people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old
And start to make street art.

* This is derivative poem based on Jenny Joseph’s Warning. The topic, format and 80% of the last stanza have been “borrowed liberally”, a.k.a. stolen boldly… in the same way that the old woman I will become will also boldly steal potted plants to add to her messy, strange-looking garden that all the neighbors hate.


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