On Self-Pity: Go Eat Worms

“My father-in-law’s mother was an elegant, strong-willed, opinionated woman who lived to almost one hundred. Once, in her nineties, Vivian came over for dinner, and we noted that she was looking well. “Don’t say that,” she said, and added in a tone I will never forget: “I want people to feel sorry for me.” She probably hadn’t gotten much pity in her life, not having offered much to others. Maybe, at the end of life, the shame around pity drops away.”

Read more in Poetry Magazine.

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