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Odette Dictates her Memoirs to M. Proust

Experience has taught me
that blue-eyed lads of seventeen
are full of self, and rude esprit.
Their passion fumbles rough and green.

At forty they turn cold and mean,
experience has taught me.
Each one a thrashing libertine
defined, in truth, by his goatee.

And when he is a retiree,
(patina has the dullest sheen),
experience has taught me,
he is bereft of gasoline,

and gasping like a beached sardine.
Yet each swain in this booboisie,
imagines he’s a love machine.
Experience has taught me.

Janice Soderling