Blame The Old Woman


PAD Challenge #27  For Poetic Asides

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Blame the (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, use the new phrase as the title of your poem, and then, write the poem.

Also for We Write Poems prompt: Pursuit of Happiness

Blame The Old Woman

Go ahead, it’s expected and ever so easy.
She pleases herself, putting things
on a shelf that never belonged there.
A hair brush and comb, right next
to a phone, that’s needed repair since
early last year, two summers ago.

Went to crazy market, never came back,
lost track of all her marbles. Now, warbles
a tune about flowers in June, always
forgetting last stanza. Owns panda, an
imaginary friend that bends all the rules,
tools all over town in light brown Cadillac
of vintage design, spending most of her time
writing nursery rhymes, she refers to as her

Curses whatever order holds sway, prays
for better day, when things will turn back
on a track more pleasant. Keeps pheasants
in her yard, presents she charmingly says,
that came from distant admirer. Complains,
often and loudly, of shoes that don’t fit,
while knitting socks on the side, which give
her great pride for totally unknown reasons.
Has forgotten more seasons that most will
remember. So, go ahead, shake your finger
at her retreating back. She’ll  probably
flip you another, then cackle with glee,
saying with half toothless grin, “I’d still
rather be me, than any other.”

Elizabeth Crawford  11/27/10

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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11 Responses to Blame The Old Woman

  1. vivinfrance says:

    How did you know so much about my life? Blame it on the old woman indeed! And for all your apologia, the poem makes a serious and valid point.

    The last thing I was aiming for was a serious point. I just liked the image of the old woman flipping everybody off. Know her well and she always makes me smile somehow. And maybe all old women are alike, this was meant as a joke, but it still became somewhat biographical, lol.



  2. pamela says:

    The elderly are easy for the young to target. When we are older seems the youngsters think us foolish. I know I did it to my mom. Now I think I am feeling that sting with my own daughter. ouch!
    I enjoyed this.

    Pamela, yes to both. It’s easy and I am thinking the same. I have three daughters, so it’s a bit hard to miss the side glances, the heavy sighs, and the smirks they sometimes share. I remember doing the same with my own sisters. Thanks for stopping,



  3. Mary says:

    I love this spunky poem, Elizabeth. It made me smile tonight. I get the picture in this poem of a fiesty(sp) woman who is no longer young but has a strong personality and isn’t going to take much from those who might find fault.

    Which, in a humorous way, is exactly what I was hoping to portray. The attitude is familiar, far more common than many suspect. You and I are she, and quite a few more I could mention, who visit this blog. One of the things I have always enjoyed about the old women I have known. The fact that they are worth knowing, even when they occasionally flip off someone in the younger generation. Lol, glad I got a smile from you, you need those too. And thanks as always for your generous words,



  4. Yes, a bit of compassion might be needed here. We are “them,” separated by a day. It’s never been easy to be a woman. I am currently reading the MadWoman in the Attic, it has always been difficult. So let’s run wild in the streets, do it all, for we are the women in Red Shoes.

    Got home yesterday. Hope to find myself hiding here somewhere. Will also try to find where I left off. Plan to bury myself in work in December, and start the new year early. Best wishes…..

    Thank you Annell, glad to see you back and welcome home! Have missed you some. You say red shoes, while I would talk about wearing purple anything. But, both are the same and share that one blessing of the socalled ‘golden’ years of existence. Mary called it fiesty and I am more than willing to agree. There is something to be said for reaching an age when deportment, physical or verbal, is to be tossed in the air and allowed to fall where it may. Yes, let’s celebrate.



  5. neil reid says:

    Youth has such rules, being “pretty” and all like it is, or thinks it is. Meanwhile the rest of us, some way down the creek might see it all another way, etched by time’s left hand, laid more plainly bare.

    This is a wonderful small painting portrait, ready for hanging somewhere close and personal on the wall. I understand, appreciate the images. I associate them within my own family memory (was just recently recounting a Christmas story about my mother, reminiscent of this here). This is a poem unashamed to “take the blame” for how living really looks. Endearing. It leans on understanding love, stands apart from fear (like sometimes how we look upon this reality).

    Thank you for sharing this poem. As oft your poems educate my understanding more, and differently. That’s what my thanks are also for.

    Myself, I hope to become more and more “difficult” as I grow into age! 🙂

    Neil, I had written something else, something new for the prompt, but the site itself would not cooperate with my efforts. Rather than frustrate myself further, I went back to this older poem, which seems to celebrate the individual who has found and grasps the true meaning of choosing that which brings one deep contentment. I have many of these in my life, including your own person. I enjoy them far more than those who are hung up on some well-defined idea of what happiness ‘might’ be or ‘should’ look like. And I believe they find the same in me, truly hope so. Here’s to all of us who get a bit more “difficult” as each year passes. Thanks for your comments,



  6. Mary says:

    Hi Elizabeth….just saying…I read this once again for the ‘happiness’ prompt. I like it even more second reading!

    Hi Mary, glad to see you around again. And I agree, I just come and read it to make myself grin. Glad you find the same and thanks for taking the time to read and leave a note. My thoughts are with you,



  7. Tilly Bud says:

    ‘Went to crazy market, never came back’ – what a fabulous phrase. A difficult subject well-tackled.

    Hi Tilly Bud, I find that at some point most individuals have to face off with either being their own person, defined by their own choosing, or spend the rest of their lives trying to please everyone else around them, never truly being happy. It amazes me how many people have asked me not to be me, not because I would be better off, but because it would make them more comfortable, more “happy”, if I did so. And most of them indirectly threatened me that I would never be acceptable, or thought to be crazy. So, I’m crazy, but also know that I am far more content than most of them seem to be. Although the poem is definitely tongue in cheek and deliberately outrageous, it does have a basis in some well earned reality. Thanks for your comments,



  8. Irene says:

    Oh Elizabeth I “get it”.. when you are your own person you feel so very happy. Sometimes I wonder, how women have to dodge stereotypes like “dotty old woman” or “madwoman” (you know the shrew) or even “harlot” as if we’re not our own special person.

    Lol, Irene, I’m pleased as punch to know you get it. Many wouldn’t and won’t. I studied History in college, with a definite eye toward the whole issue of how women are seen and dealt with. The dotty old woman, madwoman, shrew, and harlot are all attempts to both silence women and keep them in a place defined by others. Never defined by their own individuality, let alone their accomplishments. And although there have been strides in that, especially with the Women’s Movement (which happily occurred while I was in college), it certainly hasn’t reached much of the grassroots levels where the majority of us dwell. But, if we continue that struggle, no matter how hopeless it sometimes seems, eventually maybe the rest of the world will catch up to us? Cross your fingers and get a bit crazy, it really does help, lol,



  9. You handled it so well. It is not easy to bring it out so well. The old people are to be loved, respected and heard..


    Gautami, old people have earned that much just by surviving. On my fiftieth birthday, I was managing a bookstore. One of my customers came in and saw the flowers and well wishes I had arrayed on the counter around me. She grinned and asked, “How many?” I told her and she got so excited and told me how wonderful it must be to know one has survived for that many years and is still accomplishing something of love and value. That is now fourteen years behind me, but on each of my birthdays, I remember the excitement I saw radiating from her eyes and am once again grateful for still being here, adding another ring to my existence. Thank you,



  10. I SO LOVE THIS POEM (she says with her toothless grin:) ) Love it to bits! I can see her, and I can totally relate!Love the “off to crazy market, never came back”. Brilliant writing!


  11. Judy Roney says:

    I just love this woman and aspire to be her! Lovely poem about a fiesty woman full of life and vigor. Think I’ll go read it again!

    Thank you Judy, I confess, I’ve come back a few times just to make contact with her. Hope your Holidays are happy ones,



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