The Writer's Almanac has been reading from a book of poems called She Just Wants. The book answers the question, "What does a woman want?" I'm posting a few here - ones that I found already out in the Inter-World that I thought you might enjoy. As an aside, it was interesting to see which ones were posted most often on blogs. The one I saw more than any other is "Understudy". It made me think of something an acquaintance said last week: "I'm just tired of being tired." Anyway ... She Just Wants, by Beverly Rollwagon.
She just wants to keep her essential
sorrow. Everyone wants her to
be happy all the time, but she doesn't
want that for them. There is value in
the thread of sadness in each person.
The sobbing child on an airplane, the
unhappy woman waiting by the phone,
a man staring out the window past his
wife. A violin plays through all of them,
one long note held at the beginning and
She just wants to be employed
for eight hours a day. She is not
interested in a career; she wants a job
with a paycheck and free parking. She
does not want to carry a briefcase filled
with important papers to read after
dinner; she does not want to return
phone calls. When she gets home, she
wants to kick off her shoes and waltz
around her kitchen singing, "I am a piece
She just wants to know your secret.
She won't tell if you've had an affair,
or your face lifted, or when you last made
love. She won't tell if you're pilfering
from the office, or gambling when you're
supposed to be at the hospital visiting
your mother, or what you would do
for money. Strangers tell her the most
unlikely things, and she never repeats
them. Once, a woman told her she
carried a gun. Silver with a mother-of
pearl inlay on the handle, a little jewel.
She opened her purse, and the gun
rested in its own velvet pocket, ready and
dangerous. Like every secret.
She just wants an understudy, a body
double for the days when she does
not feel like appearing in any of the roles
she has assumed and/or been assigned.
She places an ad in the paper. Wanted:
one wife, mother, daughter, neighbor,
friend. Live-in OK. Own car necessary.
No lines to memorize; everything ad-
libbed. No days off.