Erica Jong

(26 March 1942 / New York City)

Wrinkles - Poem by Erica Jong

For Naomi Lazard

Sometimes I can't wait until I look like Nadezhda Mandelstam.
-- Naomi Lazard

My friends are tired.
The ones who are married are tired
of being married.
The ones who are single are tired
of being single.

They look at their wrinkles.
The ones who are single attribute their wrinkles
to being single.
The ones who are married attribute their wrinkles
to being married.

They have very few wrinkles.
Even taken together,
they have very few wrinkles.
But I cannot persuade them
to look at their wrinkles
collectively.
& I cannot persuade them that being married
or being single
has nothing to do with wrinkles.

Each one sees a deep & bitter groove,
a San Andreas fault across her forehead.
"It is only a matter of time
before the earthquake."
They trade the names of plastic surgeons
like recipes.

My friends are tired.
The ones who have children are tired
of having children.
The ones who are childless are tired
of being childless.

They love their wrinkles.
If only their were deeper
they could hide.

Sometimes I think
(but do not dare to tell them)
that when the face is left alone to dig its grave,
the soul is grateful
& rolls in.


Comments about Wrinkles by Erica Jong

  • Mariessa Retuya (9/16/2012 10:29:00 AM)


    Hi Ms. Erica Jong good evening.. I'm Mariessa Retuya from Philippines a 3rd year student at University of Cebu Lapu-lapu and Mandaue taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education specializing English and one of my course for this semester is Literary Criticism. In line with this, I would like to ask your permission to allow me to use your poem entitled WRINKLES as a material on the said course because I found your poem interesting and nice, and this would be a great help for us students. Your possible response with this message would be of great help, thank you and god speed ;) (Report) Reply

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  • (9/13/2007 5:59:00 AM)


    the best poem ever! I gave it to my mum because she is always whining about her wrinkles where as I believe they are more a map of your life, and she has had a beautiful life! (Report) Reply

  • (9/21/2006 10:44:00 AM)


    So much truth here. Interesting. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: sometimes, children, together, alone, child, friend



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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