My List

Karen Loeb

Climb a mountain.
Ride a motorcycle.
Grow my hair long.
Wear patent leather shoes with taps on the toes.
Have a collection of silver dollars.
Roll pastry dough with my mother.
Don a red bikini.
Play hide and seek.
Swim with sea turtles in the Pacific.
Memorize another Shakespeare sonnet.
Wiggle into a girdle.
Use my Marshall Field’s charge card.
Divest my yard of Creeping Charlie.
Ride in my father’s yellow Fiat.
Tighten my roller skates with a key.
Roller skate.
Tie on a mink bonnet.
Ride in a Chicago police car.
Make a collect call.
Talk on a party line.
Walk in a candlelit procession through
narrow corridors of a Buddhist temple.
Step on a nightingale floor.
Arrange a reading and talk by
Jorge Luis Borges.
Learn times tables past the number twelve.
See an owl family on a wire just above
and know they’re showing off for us.
Applaud Igor Stravinsky, guest conductor
at a Ravinia concert.
Watch my daughter make a tower of
chicken bones in front of her at a
banquet in Guangzhou.
Except for the Shakespeare sonnet—
things I will (probably) never do again.

Karen Loeb’s poem “In the Science Museum” won first place in the 2016 Wisconsin People and Ideas contest. She is Eau Claire's new Writer in Residence. For more from Karen go here.