I’m dressing like a man these days.
Wore out my husband’s flannel shirts,
bought my own in my own size.
I wear them over polo shirts and jeans
with lace-up leather hiking boots.
I let the girl cut my hair so short
there’s nothing to grab anymore.
The back of my neck is shaved. Like his.
Sure, I have breasts, but I hide them now
and yes, I have a fuzzy face. I do.
Without my earrings and my paint,
I could pass for a man, one of those
wrinkled, rugged cowboy types.
Just slap on a Stetson hat and let
my mustache have its way.
I’m turning butch in my old age,
but now I’m wife and husband, too
hauling the wood, cooking the steaks,
fixing the roof, driving the truck.
His clothes fit well and keep me warm.
A dress would feel foolish now,
and who is looking anyway? The dog.
What would you wear in my place?
Across the street, gray smoke
puffs out of the chimney,
threads through spruce and alder,
and spreads out, heading west.
The kitchen lights are on,
my neighbor at the sink,
making sandwiches at dawn,
her Lab alert for crumbs.
Over here, I start the fire,
turn on the kitchen lamp,
take my dog outside to pee,
put a kettle on for tea.
My smoke mingles with hers,
my lamp shines in the dark.
I look across the street and wave.
And so begins another day.
Sue Fagalde Lick escaped the Silicon Valley newspaper business, moved to the Oregon coast and earned an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Now she writes poetry, blog posts, and books. Her poems have appeared in Cloudbank, New Letters, Temenos, The American Journal of Poetry, Diode Poetry Journal, and other publications. www.suelick.com.