When Did I Get Old?
by Ute Carson
STARK, The Poetry Journal, No1, August 2016

Age crept up on me like a mist over clear water.
In a snapshot taken from a distance
blurred by the years,
the outlines are still visible.
My posture exudes the confidence
my mother praised in her "little princess."
Joyful pride radiates from my body,
knowing how hard it worked
as a lover and a mother.

I like my wrinkles best.
A lot of experience is etched into those lines.

Zooming in for a close-up,
I can’t recall when I added a double chin,
or plush cushions around my once slender waist.
And how could my swollen feet glide across a dance floor?

But then I see a photograph of
my husband's broad hand with sun-flaked skin
spread protectively over my small crooked hand
covered with ladybug spots,
and I think, "It is what it is, and it's not so bad."

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