An Old Woman's Body
by Ute Carson
Indolent Books, October 2022

Staring at my reflection in the mirror
my heartrate ticks up.
The corners of my mouth droop.
I wasn't promised that my lean figure
would last life's entire journey,
but why are my once firm breasts now sagging?
Why the extra cushions around belly and butt
as if my cells had been inflated?
Even my arms have flaps.
My skin molts but fails to renew itself.
And what happed in my beloved garden
when my knees buckled and I couldn't get up?
I sigh at so much dilapidation.

As I sit down,
still looking at my mirror image,
my eyes brighten and
the sides of my mouth curve slightly upward
at the sight of a toddler jumping onto my lap
and snuggling into its warm, soft contours,
loving my body just as it is right now.

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