Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

Home Economics

by Susan McLean

Like other teenage girls in '65,
I learned to knit, embroider, and crochet—
so if I'm teleported back in time
a century or two, I'll do okay.

I learned the way to wrap a package neatly,
to tie a range of plain and frou-frou bows,
to minimize my body flaws discreetly
by the color, cut, and pattern of my clothes.

I also learned to iron, hem, and baste,
to sew on zippers, trim, and appliqué,
to choose a hairdo that would suit my face—
and nothing that I ever use today.

Dorothy Parker's Complaint 

by Susan McLean

Being renowned for wit is an empty credit—
they laugh now at each quip before I've said it.

Susan McLean
is a professor of English at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her poems have appeared in The Formalist, Iambs and Trochees, Light Quarterly, and elsewhere. A chapbook of her autobiographical poems, Holding Patterns, is available from Finishing Line Press.