What the Gratitude List Said to the Bucket List

by Gloria Heffernan


Someday I will drink from the Fountain of Youth

and it will taste like champagne

pouring from diamond studded clouds

to erase the frown lines and the laugh lines

and the unread lines of my aging face,

until I am 21 again and this time I will know

how to be young.


“Today, cool clean water poured from the faucet.”


Someday I will ride an elephant in Thailand,

sitting astride his bristled back

my hips undulating with each thunderous step.

And he will lift his trunk and blow like Dizzie Gillespie

heralding my arrival at the outskirts of Bangkok

where he will wrap his trunk around my waist

and lower me gently to the ground.


“Today, our dog greeted me like Argus when I came home from work.”


Someday I will learn to speak French

and stroll the Orangerie at Versailles

Et je vais l’odeur orange fleurs

qui fleurissent dans les jardins

And men whose lips drip Baudelaire

will perfume me with orange blossoms

and scatter the petals a mes pieds.


“Today, my husband brought me French Roast coffee in bed.”


Someday I will dine at a five-star restaurant

where a tuxedoed waiter will pull out my chair and

lay a linen napkin in my lap and call me Madame

and the shaved truffles will taste like a rare delicacy

instead of the sweaty socks they actually smell like,

and I will savor them knowingly

as candle light flickers through the crystal goblets.


“Today I had enough to eat.”

G heffernanGloria Heffernan’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, The Columbia Review, The Comstock Review, Parody, Grey Sparrow Journal, Lost Coast Review, Still Crazy, Stone Canoe, The Healing Muse, The Wayfarer, Two Words For, and The New York Times Metropolitan Diary. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Radiance Magazine, and an upcoming issue of Talking Writing. Gloria teaches part-time at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, and holds a Master’s Degree in English from New York University.

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