Henrietta Pratt, 80, Has a Surprise for You
I seldom go outside my door.
I'm 80 and can barely walk.
The girl upstairs thinks that's so sad,
She's always dropping by to talk.
Her thoughts are shining in her face:
"Poor thing, she's old and all alone
And grateful for the company
She never could get on her own."
She doesn't know that all my friends
Are with me in a better place.
There's neither old nor young nor ill
Nor healthy, here in cyberspace.
Felicia Nimue Ackerman is a professor of philosophy at Brown University. Her short stories have appeared in Prize Stories 1990: The O. Henry Awards, Commentary, Playgirl, Mid-American Review and elsewhere.