Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

The Blessing of the Old Woman, The Tulip, and The Dog


by Alicia Ostriker

To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God’s love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow

To be blessed
said the dark red tulip
is to knock their eyes out
with the sun of lust
implied by
your up-ended skirt

To be blessed
said the dog
is to have a pinch
of God
inside you
and all the other
dogs can smell it


Alicia Ostriker


I’ve been hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, often alone, with a guide far ahead.

To be blessed is to see the flag on the trail (which is the guide saying – follow me).



  1. Love this poem, Jennifer. And the pictures, too. What a great way to begin the day. Thank you and happy trails to you!

  2. Look at you!!

  3. proud of you for doing hard things!

  4. Love the poem and proud of you!

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