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Shaved my legs for this

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I slid into the shower
Exhausted beyond belief
After a week
Of being

Mother, leader, servant,
Accountant, cook, laundress, advisor
Teacher, Friend, lover,
Constant companion,
And All other positions
Expected

Shampooed, conditioned
Lathered, rinsed
Repeated
Shaved, caved
On my resolve

To be the strong
Independent woman
Who did nothing
For nobody
That didn’t compromise
Herself

Creamed, steamed
Redeemed
While I preened
In the mirror
The shell of self
The world can comprehend

Instead of the beautiful
Woman
Beneath the mask
Hidden from view

So very few
Actually, get to see
And it’s been so long
Since I’ve truly
Gotten to just be me

In this giant sea
Of smoke and mirrors
Hidden meanings
And good intentions

And here I am
All dressed up
For the show

Incredulous
And kicking myself
To think

That I shaved my legs
For this

Fitting my brain into a jar

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My brain melts
Like a fine soy candle
Homemade
With one of those
Tags
Lovingly handwritten
“Made with love”

Smelling
Of good intentions
And misspent wishes
And of course, vanilla

Because all things
Pure
Must smell
Like vanilla