Claudia Gary


Navigating a Forced Retirement

They’re parting non-petty,
the civil and fun way,
champagne and confetti
laid out on the runway,
plus caviar smear,
huzzahs and good cheer.
You’re off, heading airward
with nary a swear word.

Claudia Gary lives in Northern Virginia and teaches workshops on Sonnet, Villanelle, Natural Meter, Persona Poems, Poetry vs. Trauma, etc., at The Writer’s Center (, currently via Zoom. Author of Humor Me (2006) and several chapbooks, most recently Genetic Revisionism (2019), she is also a health science writer, visual artist, and composer of tonal chamber music and art songs. Her chapbooks are available via the email address at Her 2022 article on setting poems to music is online at