They found you sprawled across the bathroom floor.
Your wrinkled face brushing smooth tile.
You didn’t have time to put on your wig.
It was on your nightstand lovingly placed
atop the styrofoam stand-in awaiting tease and spray.
Did you forget about your appointment that morning?
If you had remembered, would you have kept your wig on,
wrapped it in toilet paper and slept on your back
with your hands folded over your bosom so your elbows
would keep you from rolling over onto your stomach?
If you had known, would you have made yourself pretty
to be made prettier the way you did before visiting the beauty parlor?
Applied mascara to your brittle lashes so that each time your gay
hairdresser flirted, they would appear strong and supple
when you batted them? Outlined your lips above their sagging crowns
and colored between the lines with the red of desire?
If you had known about your appointment today,
would you have put your life in order like the nail polish organized
by shade? Spent your last hours with your children and their children
offering one lasting hug and ‘I love you’?
Or would you have mixed yourself a Tom Collins and spent that time
looking into the mirror, fussing over yourself, and getting ready?
— Robert P. Langdon
poem copyright Robert P. Langdon from the book The Candied Road Ahead: Poems & Stories.
Poem may not be used, in any part, without permission of Robert P. Langdon
“She Sat Alone”
Oil and Pearls
35” x 38”
Image copyright Gail Winbury. Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.
“Monument to eternal beauty”
Drawing / Assemblage
12” x 12” x 5”
Image copyright Kathleen Heron. Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.