May 21, 2006

Contrary to the glamorized accounts we often read about the lives of single women, Amy Fleury, a native of Kansas, presents us with a realistic, affirmative picture. Her poem playfully presents her life as serendipitous, yet she doesn't shy away from acknowledging loneliness. - Ted Kooser

"At twenty-Eight"

It seems I get by on more luck than sense,

not the kind brought on by knuckle to wood,

breath on dice, or pennies found in the mud.

I shimmy and slip by on pure fool chance.

At turns charmed and cursed, a girl knows romance

as coffee, red wine, and books; solitude

she counts as daylight virtue and muted

evenings, the inventory of absence.

But this is no sorry spinster story,

just the way days string together a life.

Sometimes I eat soup right out of the pan.

Sometimes I don't care if I will marry.

I dance in my kitchen on Friday nights,

singing like only a lucky girl can.

"At Twenty Eight" by Amy Fleury is reprinted from "Beautiful TRouble," Southern Illnois University Press, 2004, by permission of the author. The poem was originally published in Southern Poetry REview. Ted Kooser is U.S. poet laureate.

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