Sunday, October 22, 2006


I am in the bath, in the clear, clean hot water of the freshly scoured tub.
I survey my body:

Feet- feet that have borne my weight, faithful servants ferrying me around at work. The nails are long. I reach up, find the clippers, and trim them. The thin skin over the tops of my feet still retains the impression of the socks I wore today, and the lines of the new boots, the lacing pattern. I study it, thinking about how those boots hurt at first, how it made the feet suffer.

Calves- hairy. Need shaving. I don't want to take a bath in my own hair and soapsuds. Besides, no razors, need to buy some.

Knees- Hill family knees, not well formed. They stick out knobbly like. They aren't set in smoothly, seamlessly like other women's knees. I wonder if those women even appreciate what nice knees they have. I see knees like mine in my uncles, who needed knee surgery, and I see them one of my sons. My grandpa died of an infection following his knee surgery. Hmmm. My left knee has two scars. One is where I cut it open on broken concrete as a fourth grader. I remember the concrete, because it was near where I used to bury any dead birds I found, holding little funerals for them. The other scar is longer and not as old. I don't remember what caused it. The right knee got kicked by a horse once. Luckily for me, his hoofprint circled my patella. Otherwise the kneecap probably would have been broken. As it was, I limped along for a few days, at least, with a big purple bruise. I look at these knees and wonder whether they'll need surgery when I get older.

Thighs- They're still plump with extra fat and flesh retained during the last pregnancy, reserves for breastfeeding the baby. I'm still nursing him, but probably will have to bicycle and exercise to get them firm and toned again.

Hips- Hips that have cradled seven babies and birthed six. Hips that have labored and worked hard, harder than most women here, I think. Hips that have hurt, and I can hardly blame them, after all I've put them through. The pelvis is wide. Wide and motherly, having held all those babies, but not as wide as some. I look at these hips, think about the beautiful butterfly shape of the bones....wonder if they will ever cradle and embrace their complement, heavier, differently shaped, bigger yet seeking shelter. Will these bones touch against another's or will they be alone? I look at them, and think that probably, they will. I like men entirely too much for it to be otherwise. I wonder whose, and I don't know.....

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