Lately I’ve been depressed and tired, so tired, I can’t even bother to focus . . .
(I have screwy eyes so this is easy to do this—to let reality blur
until it looks like an Impressionist mess)
on anything. Which means I keep misreading words.
I read the title of this poem by Amy Lemmon and Denise Duhamel,
“Subway Blunder,” in the new and wonderful Barn Owl Review,
and I was sure it said “Subway Blonde.” I even read the poem,
waiting for the Subway Blonde to appear. But all the woman
I started to wonder about the blondes. And if they had left
before the poem was done.
And I was reminded of how I received a nasty rejection letter
last fall from a review that had kept the poem for two years,
and the editor decided to tell me why I was so bad,
and maybe it was because I was blonde.
The editor went on to correct my use of the word, blondes.
They’re blonds, not blondes, he wrote.
I wanted to write back that all my blondes have an e
on the end, and they don’t like it when you leave out their best parts.
Men like him know nothing about the blondes.
Oh, there are so many times I’ve wanted to write back to editors
like that. But as a blonde woman, I’ve learned its best to smile
and just say: thank you, please, and oh yes.
And take the next subway home.
4 weeks ago