written by: Cynthia Cady Stanton
I am trying not to listen to her –
That inner teenager that I was
Who never wore shorts
Because she hated her thighs.
She is loud in this moment as
I sit on the beach
in my swimsuit.
It has been years.
A woman now in her sixties,
As I look down upon soft thighs
As I remind myself to suck in my rounded belly,
I am tempted to listen to that young
I am not going to.
I will not cover up.
For just as I have finally learned how to use my voice to be heard,
I am finally ready to be seen
in all my seasoned glory.
Perfection is no longer
My measuring stick.
So I will sit here in peace.
The slow surf will help the harsh voices
The sounds of playing children,
the dance and songs of happy plovers
Demonstrate the way.
I will take this body –
A body that has been very good to me but now finds
it is tired of fighting gravity –
THIS ONE is going
To the water.
Just as it is.
I will allow a baptism of grace and cool water
refresh and open my weathered heart.
A new and deeper threshold
Watch me swim through it.
Marvel at my lightness of being.
My ability to ride the tide,
To allow the center of all there is
To support me.
Here I am.