Invasion of the Biddy Snatchers

first Arlene went
after the Wednesday bridge game
then Agnes on Thursday
right out of the bingo parlor
next, not til Monday, was Eloise
candystriping at the hospital
and rumors began to spread

perhaps there was a thief
robbing old ladies 
of their hidden treasures
or an evil home-nurse
over-filling prescriptions
but nobody could account
for the disappearance sites
so public, so varied
and none of the bodies were found

sometimes over Mah Jong
there were tittered speculations
of an eldery Jack the Ripper
ravishing weathered biddies
(such murmerings lead to
leaping of more than one breast)
but there was also an unspoken dread
how many would go?
when would it stop?
what could it mean?

Lydia never showed up
for her Tuesday hairstyling
and Martha and Wendy
staunchly refusing to be apart
disappeared together
from the grocery parking lot

but in their half-filled cart
a construction-paper notecard
reading: don't worry yourselves
about us; we'll be fine.

	      -acm  (4/99)