Drama Queen




          My husband tells me to forget about retiring.

          He says I’ll have to die in the classroom.


          A countdown of his final months of work is

          constantly on his tongue and in my ears.


          He envisions mornings on the golf course

          followed by afternoons as a greeter


          at Walmart or the paint man at Lowe’s.

          I envision my burning at Joan of Arc’s stake,


          hanging by Jocasta’s rope, being bitten

          by Cleopatra’s asp, joining Anna Karenina


          on the train tracks, gasping for breath

          with Desdemona, drowning  in Ophelia’s stream


          or Edna Pontellier’s sea, sipping from Gertrude’s

          poisonous cup, or embracing Juliet’s dagger.





                                                                                               Vicki Collins