My dear mother, God bless her,
was on the final stretch to forty-five
when she turned to me in the grocer’s
and said, as if she’d solved Fermat’s
Last Theorem, “I’m invisible.
That’s what happens when you get old.
You become invisible.
Four years, thirty pounds ago,
people could see me. Now they don’t.”
I still saw her but I saw her point.
Four years before, I was about ten
when frisky, stubbled cabbies tried
to get a rise out of my shapely dark-haired
mom, “Watch out!” she cried
when our cab nearly clipped
a pedestrian. “Don’t worry, honey,
I don’t want to clean off the grill.”
A grownup joke. She acted shocked.
I was shocked. And once on a crippled
brick sidewalk as I helped her
navigate my baby sister’s carriage,
a man with a tie leaned from his car
to sing, “Whatcha got cookin’?”
And there must have been subtler signs
beyond my ken that told her she was there:
admiring glances from women, men
whispering dark somethings in her ear.
Alec Solomita is an editor and writer living in Somerville, Mass. He’s published fiction in The Adirondack Review, The Mississippi Review, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. Recently, his poetry has appeared in 3Elements Literary Review, Literary Orphans, Silver Birch Press, Turk’s Head Review, and, forthcoming, Fulcrum: An International Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics.