Reading the Obituaries
Now the Barbaras have begun to die,
trailing their older sisters to the grave,
the Helens, Margies, Nansâ€"who said goodbye
just days ago, it seems, taking their leave
a step or two behind the hooded girls
who bloomed and withered with the centuryâ€"
the Dorotheas, Eleanors and Pearls
now swaying on the edge of memory.
Soon, soon, the scythe will sweep for Jeanne