Now the Barbaras have begun to die,
trailing their older sisters to the grave,
the Helens, Margies, Nanswho said goodbye
just days ago, it seems, taking their leave
a step or two behind the hooded girls
who bloomed and withered with the century
the Dorotheas, Eleanors and Pearls
now swaying on the edge of memory.
Soon, soon, the scythe will sweep for Jeanne
and Angela, Patricia and Diane
pause, and return for Karen and Christine
while Susan spends a sleepless night again. Ah, Debra, how can you be growing old?
Jennifer, Michelle, your hands are cold.