Unapologetic

as a woman,
society tells me I’m supposed to fear getting older,
that I should fight my body’s natural processes,
feel shame for what I am,
and pretend to be someone or something I’m not in order to be in line with some norm or make others feel more comfortable

I am aging – that’s a fact,
and instead of letting a number, a wrinkle, or gray hair be the beginning of some endless battle I won’t win,
or letting it be beginning of my expiry,
I am loving this shit so much

every year,
it becomes clearer that I should never be anything but who I am;
I sink deeper into this place of unapologetic realness,
and it is fucking amazing

I am fatter, saggier, wrinklier,
and salt and peppery

I am stronger, wiser, more patient,
and freer

most importantly, I have lived long enough to have walked the side of sorrow and see the dawn

I have learned that no matter how far I have run,
or how long I have been lost,
it is never too late to be found

-image via Pinterest

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Longing

I long for a deep and dreamless sleep,
a certain sleep,
for relief from the excruciating pain of living a life that is less than I always imagined,
less than I hoped it would be

I long for a quiet and peaceful sitting,
an undaunted sitting,
for solace from the thunderous reel that’s been stuck on repeat for as long as I can remember,
for as long as I have allowed it to play

it’s true,
I mostly prefer aloneness,
but it eats me alive to know what an increasingly isolated life I’ve been living,
a tiny, dark triangular world of gambling, shopping, and reading,
three points to which I traverse,
one after the other,
trying my best to outrun the thunder and the pain –
it’s no wonder I’m always so tired

but what I long for most of all,
is rest,
for the ability to finally stop trying to fill the seemingly infinite void,
rest from trying to make life smaller

-image via Pixabay; poem inspired by my mother

Roadmap

some would look at me through 
eyes clouded with sadness and sorrow,
ones filled with fear, really

some would say I’m made 
of wrinkles and lines,
no longer black and white,
just a ghost of gray,
a shadow of who I once was,
awaiting the day when I whisper
my last breath

yes, I see the wrinkles and the lines,
but I see a roadmap,
a face weathered by experience,
a life chartered amidst joy and sorrow,
compassion and pain,
heartache and bliss,
sunshine and thunderstorm

I see a body that no longer works 
as it used to, and never will,
but I see legs that climbed mountains,
arms that hugged until they could not,
hands that built and tore down
and built again,
and a heart that beat so loudly,
I had to share its overflow 
with others

I see a worn woman,
but it’s not through saddened eyes
that I look

for, I fear not,
because I see in these wrinkles and lines
and in this tired body,
all the places I have been,
the people I have touched,
and those who will remain
a part of me, 
forever a key in my legend

I see hope and love, 
more alive than it’s ever been

and that will long outlast 
this roadmap

-image via Women’s New Network