Thursday, December 16, 2010

Love at Fifty, a poem by Marcia Woodruff

Today I've been looking through books I've accumulated which might be helpful in writing my book about women's body image and I came across my old friend, When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple.  I just read a poem I'd like to share here because it resonates so well for me.

Love at Fifty
by Marcia Woodruff

We come together shy as virgins
with neither beauty nor innocence
to cover our nakedness, only
these bodies which have served us well
to offer each other.

At twenty we would have dressed each other
in fantasy, draping over the damp flesh,
or turned one another into mirrors
so we could make love to ourselves.

But there is no mistaking us now.
Our eyes are sadder and wiser
as I finger the scar on your shoulder
where the pin went in,
and you touch the silver marks on my belly,
loose from childbearing.

"We are real," you say, and so we are,
standing here in our simple flesh
whereon our complicated histories are written,
our bodies turning into gifts
at the touch of our hands.

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