owner’s manual. by Anne Leigh Parrish

when a young woman tends an old one guesses collect
            like rags in a drawer

she must once have been a great beauty, or how lonely to sit
            by this window day by day

the old one could set her straight, if she cared to your fella's
            not as great as you think he is, and you should decide now you're not fat

the human condition starts over with each child born, why
            not issue an owner's manual?

            part one – overview
            in the wildness of your given years you will:
                     • despair eight million times
                     • shed rivers of tears
                     • laugh like a dolphin
                     • weep with joy at the touch of a loved one
                     • come to rest in a state of quiet amazement

like me, she thinks as she’s wheeled from the window while the wheeler
            vows never to end up like this, too young to reckon the odds
            that she probably will

Award-winning writer Anne Leigh Parrish has two new titles coming from Unsolicited Press: the moon won’t be dared, a poetry collection, October 2021; and an open door, a novel, October 2022. Her latest novel, a winter night, released in March 2021 from Unsolicited Press, is the most recent installment in her popular Dugan Family story. She is the author of nine other books and lives in the South Sound Region of Washington State. Find her online at her website, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.