We may have to go down
our divergent paths and not be terrified.

You, in the locked landscape of your mind, gather
moments like blackberries, sit next to a petite
woman whose hair was once as brown as mine.

“Go there, come here,” and she follows easily, unlike
me, who used to practice resistance.

Perhaps you are at peace now, unfettered
and in command,
gliding into each instant with your new companion.

And I am free to find another life, hair
dyed blonde, strands sultry over one eye,
a world framed by sweet bougainvillea without you.

Harriet Shenkman is a Professor Emerita at CUNY and serves as Academic Liaison on the Advisory Board of the Women’s National Book Association, NYC. She has won the Women’s National Book Association 2013 Annual Writing Contest in Poetry and the Women Who Write 2013 International Poetry and Short Prose Contest. She was a finalist for the 2017 Claire Keyes Award at Salem State University and a finalist for the Jewish Currents Raynes Competition, 2014. Her poems appeared in the Jewish Currents Anthology, 2014, Evening Street Review, Third Wednesday, Jewish Currents, Jewish Magazine, VerseWrights.com., When Women Awaken, Westchester Review, the 20 th Edition of the Calliope Anthology and Oyez Review.

Her poetry chapbook Teetering was published by Finishing Line Press. She is working on a second poetry collection and finalizing a novel.