Life Plus Five

I can’t resist re-posting this old poem to Charles Miller’s prompt for dVerse Poetics: write a modernist poem that incorporates something of today’s reality…for example, a newspaper article.This is a bit different from my usual style, but it was fun. And I love this feisty old lady (if not the crime).

Photo Credit: Google Free Images

Reno Gazette Journal June 24, 2006
“79-year old found guilty
of killing former boyfriend.”

ATLANTA-A 79-year-old woman
accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend
because their romance had ended was
convicted of murder Friday.
Lena Driskell was sentenced
to life in prison plus five years. She
was immediately taken into custody, and
defense attorneys said she would not
be eligible for parole for 30 years.
Driskell shot 85-year-old Herman
Winslow in June 2005 at the assisted
living home where they both resided.
After she was arrested, police said she
was angry that their romance had ended
and he was seeing another woman.

Life, Plus 5

Guess that showed the sonofabitch
85-year-old womanizer you were
pissed, were serious about monogamy.

Showed the rest of us love isn’t
reserved for sleek bodies, old
age isn’t sexless or without passion
(and should be reinvented now that
I’m sixty-something).

While you’re in prison, (which isn’t
that different from an Assisted Living
Facility or a 79-year-old body),

keep in mind you don’t need to be
defined by someone. You are enough for
life plus five years.

Take a few minutes and stop by the pub for some friendship and poetry. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

22 thoughts on “Life Plus Five

  1. tigerbrite says:

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned 🙂


  2. lucychili says:

    mm sad. well written.


  3. dragonkatet says:

    Wow. The article surprised me (I guess I’m one of those people who never equated being older with that kind of passion) and I loved the poem! I kept trying to picture the woman and the only image which kept coming to mind was that cartoon character, Maxine. I know that murder isn’t funny, but I couldn’t help smiling and thinking to myself, “You GO, girlfriend!” 🙂


  4. Just goes to show…at any age they are hard dogs to keep on the porch. A warning to geriactrics…age will not be taken into consideration.In Italy she would have been venerated
    as a saint.


  5. Jamie Dedes says:

    That is a different voice for you … and such a distressing story.

    Re: prison and old age home – very much afraid they are alike.


  6. Mohana says:

    Like like!


  7. kolembo says:

    Yooohooo! I didn’t understand this at first, I didn’t read the preamble so I read them both at first and read it as part of the same poem. The article reads a little like how I write so I was intrigued but it was too literal, then the ‘2nd stanza’ had me rocking and I was going to write back and just say so (you know how it is with criticism…you really don’t want to give it and get really precious about how it will be taken but this ‘2nd stanza seemed so excellent, I was going to advise that the writer just do away with the 1st altogether!), when – unable to resist it, I re-read the ‘2nd stanza’ – to find that, that WAS the poem!

    Super, super, I’m giggling, and thrilled and reading again – you know, it’s well written and the language is so self aware, I can feel disrespectful youth shrink before the glare!



    • Kenny, I always welcome critique. I think I’ve learned at last how to “take what I like and leave the rest.” It’s so valuable to me. Now I’m thinling I will italicize the article from the paper to distinguish it from the poem. :o>


  8. claudia says:

    yeah…you don’t need to be defined by someone…and this surely painted a picture i didn’t expect… the difference between a prison and assisted living is maybe that the prison is free of charge..ha


  9. brian miller says:

    ouch….you def dont need to be defined by someone…intriguing to me their ages in this as often we think of crimes and crimes of passion reserved for the young…..the comparison between the assited living and prison is spot on too…


  10. ManicDdaily says:

    Great close here! Very clever. k.


  11. Passion is not reserved for the young only ~ Enjoyed your take ~


  12. Mama Zen says:

    What an outstanding write!


  13. Fiesty is right and rightfully so. While I couldn’t condone her actions either I admire her spirit which you capture so beautifully with wit and style!


  14. Chazinator says:

    Now that is feisty, the very definition. Your Poetic remarks are precious! I hear reports that sex just begins after 60, so now I know what to look forward to in a few years myself. I would like to know, though, what kind of court gives a person this age a life sentence, plus 5? Surely, the extenuating circumstances warrant some considertaion. I mean, in Italy it used to be “legal” for a man to kill a cheating wife. Surely emotional duress in someone at this age should be mitigative…


  15. O, never make an older woman cross or, cross an older woman, especially if she has a gun. Not funny for the poor man but… is kind of.


  16. keep in mind you don’t need to be
    defined by someone.

    Oh, this is magic…some never learn this… well written for dVerse!


  17. rbhexem says:

    Geez! I better hide my guns…..


  18. siggiofmaine says:

    I loved this…it actually jump started a prompt that I was going to use for something else, but
    immediately I started writing and posted it !
    Thanks for sharing….
    Siggi in Downeast Maine


  19. vivinfrance says:

    Your slant on this story is original and compelling. I particularly wondered how true this stanza is:

    While you’re in prison, (which isn’t
    that different from an Assisted Living
    Facility or a 79-year-old body),

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they are indistinguishable!


    • siggiofmaine says:

      I looked at that phrase, but couldn’t think of why it struck me so…and I believe for many people it is probably true. Thanks for the insight.
      Siggi in Downeast Maine


  20. Lexi Jiao Wu says:

    wise words and thoughts….


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