Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Baby's Book

 Remember--we're not trying to understand poetry here, just experience it.

I wrote this, heavily pregnant with my second child, as part of my own surrender to the joys and struggles of motherhood. Since then, I've worn size six clothes occasionally and even had my first pedicure and manicure. I love that women all celebrate and pamper themselves in many, many ways!

I would also love it, though, if we all could celebrate the physical signs of motherhood--of any life fully lived--as much as we celebrate the physical signs of youth. Beauty comes in the shape of laugh lines, worn arthritic hands, sun spots, and thoughtful forehead crinkles, too.

Here's how all that spilled out of me six years ago.

It’s a lot of work
To get your abs back
After kids
You can do it, but
It’s a lot of work
An anorexic, boob-jobbed
Mother of three
Said to me

Well, I want them back
Of course
Three years with ‘Captain Crunch’
And a black belt
Earned me some
Pretty nice abs
Back in the day

But I see mothers
Tanned and cured (pedi and mani)
Slimmed and toned
To perfection
In size six resort wear
And high-heeled sandals
Conceding to motherhood by
Carrying a designer tote
And I wonder
Did they rent their kids?

I wouldn’t trade the
Raw knuckles and rough nails
From washing
Kids, clothes, dishes, counters,
Cars, sea shells…you name it

I wouldn’t forego
The grey-smudged eyes
From years of late night checks
And early-rising hugs

I wouldn’t give up
The forehead wrinkle
From the years of tantrums
Or the mouth lines
From all the times I smiled
To hold back tears
From feelings
Too deep for words

I will not surrender
The intimate map of
Child bearing
The silver rings of scars
Around my nipples
The expanded belly button
Or the bikini-line fat dune

I look down sometimes
And remember
Perky bosom and flat tummy
And I laugh
My body is used—
What of it?
How sad if it were not!
No plastic, no silicon
No botox for me
My baby’s book
Is written in my skin

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