Molly Arden




The Sign of Four


My memories were street fights.
There were four of them and one of me.

You were a handsome gigolo
and I was the girl who overcame polio

and tea was not something that we
smoked and snow was not a rhyme

for now and off went the television
and my name wasn't subject to revision

as water and sugar revise rum and lime
and couch analysts raise their fee

and sigh as the hour comes to an end
and cops read you your rights.

The bitch had claimed to be my friend.
You worked on the day shift. I wore tights.




In 1976, When She Was Born


Life was dull in 1976.

Dad had to read "Ivanhoe" and write a report.

Sex was not yet Mom’s favorite sport.

The only rhyme that came to mind was "dicks."


Mom was somewhere north

of the Mass / NH border.

She was just following an order,

not calculating its moral worth.


She was on vacation

feeling unclever

and not happily after ever.


He promised to wait

for her return to the state

of eternal temptation.