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Flying at Forty

 You call me
courageous, 
I who grew up
gnawing on books,
as some kids
gnaw
on bubble gum,

who married disastrously
not once
but three times,
yet have a lovely daughter
I would not undo
for all the dope
in California.
Fear was my element, fear my contagion.
I swam in it till I became immune.
The plane takes off & I laugh aloud.
Call me courageous.
I am still alive.

by Erica Jong
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