The Woman of Too Many Days

by Mary I. Cuffe

The woman of too many days enters your life with a great sideways thrust of her hips until she settles into her own rhythm. She is a bad accident of a woman in wingtip shoes. You try to avoid her, but find that she is everywhere you are, and you are in the most unlikely of places – waiting for a bus on a Sunday morning, in the jungle of a vacant lot, in the Adirondack Mountains, airborne over the Canadian Rockies, or sitting with your feet in a little trout water.



The Woman of Too Many Days looks at the world askew and approaches wisdom through paradox. She is a realist, a magician, a crone, a seer, a maker of great fictions and a teller of truths. Vulgar, she sprays mango out her nose; elegant, she carries an old music box because ‘music is the hardest child to leave behind.’ Mary Cuffe’s creation is compelling; this book keeps you listening.” —David Swanger

“In a culture of too little respect for difference, The Woman of Too Many Days is a compelling and cohesive collection that quite confidently insists on the value and wisdom of the homeless crone at its heart.” —Deb Casey

“The poet’s uncanny ability to portray the sadness and courage, the wit and delusions of an old woman’s emotions in extreme circumstances is remarkable.” —Jane Glazer


Mary Cuffe has lived in upstate New York for the past thirty years where she studies the things she loves—forests and fields and the life within them, as well as the people who live there and their histories. She has written poetry, fiction, and a great deal of non-fiction for newspapers, local publications, and a few national magazines. This is her first book.