Thursday, March 13, 2008

Self-Portrait of a Woman Who Loves Her Body For a Moment: A Poem

My ankles, for instance, functional
as bicycle pedals, the elbows too,
elegant as the unfurling of an iris.

Then there are my thumbs, twin sons
of a mother who never forgets them,

marvelous their gymnastics.

My eyes that land on orange in a painting,
or my shoulders, heroic in their lifting.

The flat slate of blue crooked lines where
there used to be breasts, the curve of my belly,
the hips weary of insults when they surge
across the days like prize-winning horses.

The way my knees bend to make strong hills
of the legs. Then there’s the hummingbird synapses

of my brain, tired but as lovely in their blur

as the heart’s tap dance and dramatic bows.

Everywhere, there’s applause my white blood cells
drink each leg of their marathon, the efficiency

of my tongue, the wind my lungs translate into song,
and the fire at the center of each breath.

In the mirror, walking through foot-high snow,
or turning to sit in the chair, this body's imperfections

just the weather rolling through the landscape of the soul.

Why insult the thick heat, the broken branches that left
their lines, the dappled rocks up close?

I’m just a container for time like a river.

Tell, me, what’s not to love?


KJ said...

What's not to love, indeed! Thank you, once again, for an elegant reminder to those of us who so need it...Long may you blog...


Karen said...

This is really beautiful. for women, loving one's own body is such a is a real sadness in our culture. Thank you for this.