Bio Note: My newest book, “Full Circle,” is a collection of haiku and senryu available at amazon.com.
I’m still not used to how skin strays out of place as I get older. One day I felt a new wrinkle emerge on my chin. The skin gave up with a nearly audible pop, and there I was, a step closer to being flattened by gravity. The round softness of my face is now angular, my mouth droops even when closed, and my eyes cry while smiling. The first arthritic joint came just as suddenly—a knob burst on my index finger like a volcano from the earth’s crust. A mound remains, intent on another eruption. Last summer, a small, black bump high on one thigh sent me to the dermatologist, who said not to worry— and, by the way, the other various and sundry bumps on my legs and arms are just barnacles. It’s as though I’m a boat that needs its keel scraped, or an old dock, pilings crusted with ocean detritus. I try not to think about any of this, and I don’t, except when a random glimpse in a mirror or window makes me wonder who that crone could possibly be.
My skeleton is living rock that talks to anything mineral— one on one, marrow to marrow— boulder, pebble, sand, whatever is handy—comparing notes on what it’s like to be porous, what joints hurt when it rains, the risks and rewards of sunbathing— and the latest gossip—who has fallen or rolled away, whose children never visit, and who is the oldest, eroded, fragile. My bones pine for the earth they came from, where they can visit their relations unmuffled by flesh— no more shouting to be heard.
flattened penny in the dirt road— Lincoln worn away would it spend if I took it to the store? it’s a relic of olden days dropped by some drifter with holes in his pockets I hope he got across the Styx anyway— my good luck ferries me home
©2022 Cynthia Anderson
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