Self-Portrait

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“Cramped” by GoodGraph

This body seems sometimes
a cramped apartment owned
by an absentee landlord
in which I live uneasy,
a renter soon to be evicted
for non-payment.

I lurch through life ungainly
as a panting Great Dane puppy,
all knees and elbows,
never quite sure exactly
where I’ll touch down next.

Elbows flail into walls;
fingers seek, willy-nilly,
swiftly closing drawers
to cram themselves into; and
seek-and-destroy-missile toes
attack all hard-edged objects.

And the world conspires:
logs throw themselves
into my path, pebbles roll
directly underfoot and potholes
with breathless urgency
dig themselves instantly
in line with wobbly ankles.

And the eyes! These hopelessly
undisciplined eyes don’t
much care for the serious task
of front-and-centre,
watch-the-sidewalk,
obey-the-rules locomotion.

Constantly hijacked
by beauty lurking at every turn
to catch them unawares,
they race to follow
the tipsy flight of a butterfly
drunk on nectar;

gaze in rapture at shadow-pictures
carved by the setting sun
on fenceposts;

reflect the clear-eyed
unselfconscious gaze of
a toddler sucking a contented thumb;

watch in wonder fat cotton-batting
clouds having pillow fights
atop tall buildings.

And the body, patient old mare,
led by no guiding hand,
meanders.

I excuse myself to street lights and
fire hydrants and people as I walk
my  strange and wondrous world
of light–and sometime pain.

[Well, okay, so it’s an OLD self-portrait.  But it still makes me smile, and it still carries a grain of truth.  I’m fond of it.]

Namaste,
Susannah

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4 Comments

    1. How lovely to hear from you, and to know that you like my poem. My feeling of ungainliness used to be the bane of my existence, until I stopped worrying about it. Now it just makes me smile. Namaste!

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  1. There is part of me that wonders if you have allergies. I am as ungainly as you describe when my allergies tease my inner ears into gyroscopic hell, when balance is thrown over and I look like an enfeebled drunk. At least that’s what I say as an excuse. Lovely poem!

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