On Aging: A Poem for My Daughters
“You don’t look your age,” they say,
When I reveal that I’m forty-two.
But my body has begun to betray me.
Gray hair is just the beginning:
Body, back, and foot aches.
An elbow injury during pregnancy that refuses to heal.
I feel it on extreme weather days.
It balks at me when I lift my toddler or carry anything remotely heavy.
It reminds me that my body is not what it used to be.
That healing and wholeness are for the young.
Everything makes me tired.
My favorite part of the day:
My toddler’s nap time.
But that is on its way out.
I shudder to think how I will cope.
And now as I bow my head slightly
To read through the bottom of my newly-acquired bifocals,
I feel connected to the endless number of women who have been
Lucky enough to experience middle, and even old, age.
I hope this means that Wisdom is now my companion.
And that I’ll have the courage to
Grow old gracefully.
Showing my daughters, and myself,
That aging is a gift.
How I wish I could live long enough to cradle their tired faces and hold their
Aching hands as they ascend through middle age to their last day.
I would tell them they are as
Beautiful and valuable and cherished then
As they were on the day they were born.