Poem Nov. 3– Muscles

posted November 4, 2018


My mother had muscles.
Her shoulders were tanned, freckle-brown all year long,
Stained from summers of tennis

Her calves tensed and flexed
Even when doing the dishes, balletic

No make-up
Short hair
Contacts so she could see us
And keep her eye on the ball
Without the glare and the barrier of glasses

It rains on one side of my house
Blue sky on the other,
Leaves on the ground, red and gold
Rainbow stretching all the way across
Like a ribbon on the package of the day.

My mother visits from far away
Recovering from a broken shoulder,
She stretched her arms up to the ceiling
To show me how far she’s come
Makes a perfect arc with her hands
Almost 75, still muscled
Though she confides she has to fight to keep every fiber.

A woman’s strength
Comes from her own brute force—don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Yes, she has other springs of power
And women of all sizes have their own potent brand

But I tell my daughter to pay attention to her muscles.
My niece lifts weights
And so do I
As I get stronger, I feed the illusion that there is more of me now.
True or not, it helps to believe this
As I prepare for all the battles ahead.


I write these poems to support the work of Center for New Americans. If you enjoy reading them, please consider donating to my fundraising page. Thank you!

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