Judith Viorst

(February 2, 1931)

Anti-heroine


I'd planned to be Heathcliff's Cathy,
Lady Brett, Nicole or Dominique or Scarlett O'Hara.
I hadn't planned to be folding up the laundry
In uncombed hair and last night's smudged mascara,
An expert on buying Fritos, cleaning the cat box,
Finding lost sneakers, playing hide and seek.
And other things unknown to Heathcliff's
Cathy, Scarlett, Lady Brett, and Dominique.
Why am I never running through the heather?
Why am I never used by Howard Roark?
Why am I never going to Pamplona
Instead of Philadelphia and Newark?
How did I ever wind up with an Irving
When what I'd always had in mind was Rhett,
Or someone more appropriate to
Cathy, Dominique, Nicole, or Lady Brett?
I saw myself as heedless, heartless, headstrong,
An untamed woman searching for her mate.
And there he is -- with charcoal, fork, and apron,
Prepared to broil some hot dogs on the grate.
I haven't wrecked his life or his digestion
With unrequited love or jealous wrath.
He Doesn't know that secretly
I'm Scarlett, Dominique, Nicole, or Brett, or Cathy.
Why am I never cracking up in Zurich?
Why am I never languishing on moors?
Why am I never spoiled by faithful servants
Instead of spraying ant spray on the floors?
The tricycles are cluttering my foyer,
The Pop Tart crumbs are sprinkled on my soul.
And every year it's harder to be
Cathy, Dominique, Brett, Scarlett, and Nicole.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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