Seven Stages of Me

All a woman’s names are a stage,
Of all the men and women players in her life.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one woman in her time plays many parts,
Her acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. [1]
And then the confirmation candidate, with her white
And red shining robe, vowing to be a
Brave warrior like Joan of Arc.[2] And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to her husband’s name.[3] Then divorcee,
Full of strange oaths and constant like the byline;
Jealous in reporting, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. [4] Then remarriage,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
Changing her moniker to pledge her belief
That hope would truly overcome experience.[5]
And so she plays her part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With contact lens and middle initial resurgent;
Her youthful byline, well saved, but a world too narrow
For three whole names; and her woman’s voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles, experienced and believing.[6] Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is high school reunion and Facebook entry,
Back to childhood, sans husbands, sans middle age, sans everything.[7]

Apologies and thanks to Mr. William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon and Mrs. Margaret Goodman of Grace King High School.


[1] Mary Elizabeth Reeks
[2]
Mary Elizabeth Joan Reeks
[3]
Mary Reeks Heffron
[4]
Mary R. Heffron
[5]
Mary Heffron Arno
[6]
Mary R. Arno
[7]
Mary Beth Reeks

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