The Seven Ages of Woman.

All the world's a battlefield,
And the women are subtle warriors,
They're armed with Atkins and Chanel,
And they mean business,
Which they transact in seven ways. As an an infant,
Armed only with limpid eyes and gurgling laugh,
Twisting bearded daddies around their little finger.
Then, the pig tailed schoolgirl with satchel,
Polly pocket in hand, an occasional misfit
Wielding a cricket bat. And then, the teenager
With private agonies in the form of a blemish,
Lakme, quick, before Boyfriend sees. Then, the threshold,
Slinking gracefully from school to work, juggling
Men and perfecting, thanks to them, the art of woe.
And then the wife, but this is the twenty first century,
Banner bearing the last name that is her own,
Unlike Madame Bovary [who was a fool]. Menopause.
Declaring war on impending age with needles and corsets,
While bellied husband slips between secretary's sheets.
Retirement. With partner perhaps, or without,
Swaying on humped camels, or sitting by broken blinds,
Wondering whether it really ends as ingloriously as this.
A grandmother now, as dimpled as the
Hope clutched to her sagging breast. And finally, at last,
laying down a lifetime decided by Art, interrupted by
Varicose Veins, tinned eyelashes drift down.
The Unknown Soldier deserved not such a sleep.

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