A friend wished to insult me with her words
She was angry that I seemed to draw in men
You Siren, she exclaimed, in tones absurd
I stared astonished, feeling puzzled then
I wore thick glasses, carried my old books
Read Birkhoff and McLean and Wittgenstein
To me, it was no insult to my looks
It was a compliment, not word malign
And I was married to a gentle man
Had never noticed what she’d claimed to see.
My evenings were spent boiling meat in pans
To me. more adoration was obscene
Now I grow old and see my hair go thin
I marvel at the label, you Siren!