Don't Laugh, It's Serious, She Says

At 55, I'm trying to meet men.
But though I look my best
(beautiful, say some
of my friends) & am spirited
& very interesting (you can
tell this, can't you?)
most men look at me with blank eyes,
no part of them flickering.
At parties they talk around me
as though I weren't there,
choose less attractive
partners to dance or talk with.
Such a puzzle! I try
so hard not to let them know
that I am smarter, more
talented, classier & more
interesting than they.
Nicer, too.
I cover this so well
with a friendly smile
& a cheerful word
that they could never tell
I want them to pursue me
so I can reject them.
Bug off, you bastards,
balding middle-aged men with paunches
hanging around women 20 years
younger, who the hell
do you think you are?
You'd better hurry up
and adore me or
it will be too late.

Originally published in 1985 in an anthology, "Don't Laugh, It's Serious, She Says" was chosen to appear in the Fifth Edition, September 2011, of the McGraw-Hill college text entitled Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings.