Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Curvature

If you wear a loose shirt
let it hang down over your hips
then no one can tell for certain
that your left hip juts out
like a young girl throwing a hip
out and resting a hand on her waist.
She's waiting for an answer
and doesn't have all day.
You remember when a belt sat fairly
straight. Now a belt falls on a diagonal line,
its angle more severe each year. Do you
know what happened to your silver belt buckle?
or how long ago you tucked a shirt in your jeans?

I watch you stand with your back to the mirror,
hold a hand mirror up and stare. Your spine twists
like a country road. Instead of laying flat
your back humps up on one side. Each
year the swell on your right grows.
You don't complain, but I see you stretch
as if you could straighten your spine.
I watch you pick up a form fitting shirt
and put it down in favor of a loose top
that hides your woman shape.
At the end of the day you massage
your hip, stretch, and remember
to stand with your shoulders pulled back.

Linda Watskin ©2010


  1. i love poems about the body. disguising, hiding, changing, stretching, remembering.

  2. Linda, this is a strong poem. I think every few years a person needs to write a body image poem. I agree with the comments of both Carolee and Tumblewords!


  3. Good, strong piece of writing about a difficult and deeply personal subject.


  4. Isn't it always at the end of the day when we remember to do the very thing that would prevent that other thing from happening? Great writing, once again, Linda! Enjoy Maine!!

  5. Very visual, and also very well written.

  6. A beautifully written piece on a unique and sad thing. I became so sorrowful for the subject...

  7. In the first stanza, I wasn't sure if it was you or not. Then in the second stanza I saddened, thinking you might be watching your mother. Either way, the piece evokes a depth of feeling. Standing with its shoulders thrown back. Small acts of defiance may be all we're left to. *sigh*