Gail White, ‘The Solitary Woman’

In a tiny cottage called the Laurel Tree,
my neighbor lived alone. Nobody came
to see her and she had no family,
so week by week her life was much the same:
she went to church and said the rosary,
took in the mail for neighbors out of town,
adopted cats, watched MSNBC,
and at a roll-topdesk she wrote things down–
things no one ever saw, although we guessed
a novel, memours, poetry, and more–
but we saw nothing, though we did our best.
And when she died alone, at eighty-four,
with no companion but a big gray cat,
we pitied her. We were such fools as that.


Gail White writes: “People often pity someone who lives alone for being lonely. But the Solitary Woman isn’t lonely; she’s complete. I’m always pleased when readers like this one, because I know they got the point.”

Gail White is the resident poet and cat lady of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Her books ASPERITY STREET and CATECHISM are available on Amazon. She is a contributing editor to Light Poetry Magazine. “Tourist in India” won the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award for 2013. Her poems have appeared in the Potcake Chapbooks ‘Tourists and Cannibals’, ‘Rogues and Roses’, ‘Families and Other Fiascoes’, ‘Strip Down’ and ‘Lost Love’.

Woman on Empty Solitary Red Chair in Desolate Landscape” by Amaury Laporte is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.


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