On Becoming Saggy Just When You'Ve Got Your Act Together - Poem by Mandy Baldwin
It’s a fine irony, that’s all I can say.
Just as you’ve got yourself straight between the ears
You find those ears are attached to a structure that’s dropped six inches.
Don’t debate the point; you know it’s true:
If you are smirking at these words, it’s happening to you!
When you were a perfect 10, and looked just stunning
No matter what you wore
You thought you looked like Shrek.
Oh; yes, you did! You were gorgeous: peach-skinned and trim
Pizzas were something you just ate; they didn’t attach themselves to your skin
So afterward, you need a bigger jeans-size for two days.
But you agonised about each non-existent inch; and your hair!
Well – you know as well as I do - that was just a nightmare!
If only now, it could be confined to your head; and not be grey!
Poor thing, what agonies you suffered. When you got stares
you thought that you were going stylistically wrong, somewhere.
Now, you could be clad in army-boots and tutu –
nobody would care.
And dare I say it? least of all you:
because now, you simply have too much to do.
Now, you are a tranquil, loving, tolerant being.
You are evolved! You know exactly how you want to live.
The facade may be moth-eaten, but you have so much to give.
You know exactly what to say, and when, and how to behave.
You ride the world, like dolphins on the crest of a wave.
You’ve been there; done that; your collection of tee-shirts must be seen to be believed.
Back then, you were a mess inside; but outwardly? Oh; a whited sepulchre, indeed!
Nature’s gone wrong somewhere, I think.
All that inner beauty should reflect in our dress-size
The bloom on our untarnished cheeks; our wide, sparkling eyes;
And the pertness of our buttocks; and the way our breasts defy gravity.
But no. That’s not the way it’s worked out, at all.
Put the slap on quickly, turn the glass to the wall.
What looks OK in candlelight won’t bear the glare of day.
And who invented those damned full-length mirrors, anyway?
Didn’t they have more worthwhile things to do?
I know, it wasn’t ever going to happen to you.
But it has, and you must use all your wisdom, somehow
To bear the sheer insanity of finding that you now
Look as you used to in the magnifying mirror.
Go on; be brave: look more closely, if you dare!
Yes; you see? that’s you, that old bat, skulking in there!
Luckily, you know these things don’t matter, any more;
When you go out, your main concern is: did you lock the door?
And so you can enjoy invisibility. You’re freed!
But I am just observing – a fine irony, indeed!
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