She wore pearls in a string
Prim and coiled three times.
I wondered if she'd coughed them up,
The whole thing in its entirety,
So full of wisdom was she.
And if she'd had them in her prime,
Before now, wrinkles and hair
So thin, for I could not see
Each pearl, rolling around in her mouth,
Spat into her palm, eyed and added,
Globe by milky globe, to the string.
Her hair was proud white,
Denying Old Age that one small victory.
She had given up hair dye
When it had become clownish,
A red flag that she was nearer death
Than she believed.