Midge Goldberg: 'George Washington's Axe'

(A paradox that questions if it’s still George
Washington's axe despite having had both
its head and handle replaced.)

Maybe I’ll replace my legs
with new ones, good and strong—
a shapely pair (with nicer knees),
freckled, slender, long.

Perhaps I’d get a manicure
if I had brand new arms.
Less bony wrists would let me wear
big bracelets full of charms.

Think what I’d get with a new head:
new hair, new eyes, new smile.
Not to mention kinder thoughts—
I’ve wanted those a while.

With all this work to spruce me up,
to hew and cleave and hew,
will I be a better me,
or now just envy you?