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Poem for Middle Aged Women

Posted Jun 10 2009 12:20am
Cross Currents
by Noelle Sickels

The moon's choreography
is less reliable now.
Unlike the obedient tides
my body chooses its own tempo,
sways out of rhythm
then drifts in step again
for a measure or two.

It surprises my attention.
I had forgotten this last bend
in the yawing currents;
Did not expect as much drama
as at the beginning,
when childhood washed away
like an unguarded doll
at the water's edge;
Or in the middle,
when all of me swelled
with the briny broth
of a stranger's life.
Now again, I search the mirror,
hunt for how my face reveals
the changing course within.

People say I do not look my age,
as if I'd won a prize.
They say I am too young
to parenthesize the moon.
I can not always say I do not like
what people say;
Do not, some days want
to conjour back the blood,
rejoin the familiar round.
Do not, like a lone sailor
in a cloud-thick night,
long to drop anchor
and forget the creaking tiller
the unknown destination
the shape of undreamt shores.

found in Claiming the Spirit Within
a sourcebook of women's poetry
ed by Marilyn Sewell
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