By B. Elae

I teach my fingertips to waltz
across the unaligned trails of freckles
half the size of ladybugs that nest on your face
and graze your brown eyebrows
that are full and smooth just like your eyes…
____________and I smile,
with gratitude…
____________and some awe
because,
57 has never looked so sweet

and resilient

and chaotic

Your flesh is baby smooth still
-smile full-
___________ and your wrinkles are perfect enough
Your hands, still capable of the crafts
you make and the many heads of hair you braid,
____________though the carpal tunnel has returned
____________and swells your knuckles
Your poorly healed elbow
is no barrier to the strength in your arm,
____________though the pain returns if you’re not careful
Your heels are more sensitive
when you climb the stairs,
but you can, almost, still
hold first place in a 100 meter dash
Your breathing still inhales every scent
of every season,
____________though it’s heavier now
____________and your chest rattles
And I can lie my head near your heart
and hear beating
strong as any year before,
____________though I’ve heard you say
____________before how much your heart hurts
____________from things that chewed at your mind
But, God, it’s the strongest heart I’ve heard
Maybe this isn’t the end yet
Maybe the ending is sweeter than
what life has dealt you
Maybe it’s an ending
I can fix
Maybe 57 will turn to well over 100
but…
Stay for a while, Ma…

 

This poem has been featured in the 9th issue of Feels Zine.

B. Elae is a poet, spoken-word performer, and advocate from Indiana where she also received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. After obtaining her degree, she relocated down south, later becoming an Intake Advocate for sexual assault and domestic violence, mental health, and drug rehabilitation. Since, she has began working on opening her own businesses relative to discussing serious issues through various forms of expression and art. Having been writing since her youth, B. Elae will be releasing her second poetry and letters book, “girl with shovel” this year as well as launching her B. Elae merchandise line. For more poems and affirmations, inquiries for booking, giveaways, and book release dates, follow @b.elae on Facebook and Instagram.