Bright Shiny Days Like This - Poem by Shirley Alexander
You see me turn in front of the long mirror,
adjust my skirt, frown at the reflection, and sigh.
Knowing I never take compliments for honest truth,
you offer anyway. You tell me I am beautiful.
Before I can stop my brain from reaching my mouth,
it spills: 'I am fifty-six and not getting younger, ' I retort.
I want to take it back, say 'thank you, ' tell you
'I think you are beautiful too. Always.'
You come to hold my chin firmly in your hand
and inspect my upturned face for wordless clues.
'You are the woman I am in love with. Always.'
I feel that. I do know that. I see it in your eyes.
I am not afraid of wrinkles, or softness in places
that have forgotten how to spring back when pressed.
Those things mean nothing in the whole reflection.
The real worry is that I am desperately in love.
I am in love with wind when it caresses tall grass,
with the dance of sunlight through orange and green leaves,
with the sparkle of water over smooth stones and moss;
I am in love with Life, and all the little wrinkles it gifts me.
I am in love with the echo of me in a granddaughter's smile,
with the welcome awake hug of my son on new mornings,
with the rise and fall of your chest while you are sleeping;
I am in love with Life, and all the soft places it gifts me.
I count the days; save them like bright shiny pennies in a jar.
I want to invest my time wisely, and see interest accumulate
in the form of days like this, when I catch your glance in a mirror,
and see my reflection slide back to beautiful in your eyes.
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