Spiritual

Ballad of 51 (for my half-century sisters)

By: Jana Greene

I took a “selfie” today, you see,

And gave myself the third degree

Right off the bat, right out of the gate,

I found a lot of things to hate.

Like, oh my neck!

What the #%&$! HECK?

It used to be tighter

and I think you’d agree,

The Thanksgiving turkey’s

got nothing on me.

And didn’t my eyes used to be bluer?

Was ever there uttered a statement truer

Than “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?”

So why do I mind so much getting older?

My neck and chest scream “Sunblock please!”

Crow’s feet pop up with careless ease.

Marionette lines around the mouth?

Body parts migrating South?

What’s this new crease in my chin?

*Sigh.* Pass the wrinkle cream again.

See the furrows in my brow?

You ask how it got there and I’ll tell you how…

Birthing two daughters and raising another

That is the furrow of being a mother.

And the crinkles you see around my eyes

Are from laughing so hard I thought I’d die

(Laughter’s a good way to go as any…

And occasions for laughter have proved to be many.)

Those lines are proof of the joy life brings,

Because silliness is such a sacred thing,

Sure, everything on my body is a little bit lower,

Every task I complete goes a little bit slower,

But even as I rush to cover gray hair,

I’ve survived long enough for it to be there.

My teeth are not straight and there’s fluff

in my booty,

But I’ve earned the right

to be eccentric and moody.

Women, this is the pivotal stage in our being.

All the years have led up to our seeing

This as OUR time to shine and regroup.

Who cares about a little bloat and droop?

Society may think we’re past our prime,

But I’m calling bullshit on that line!

You’re a queen! Stand strong!

And y’all?

We must love ourselves, cellulite,

wrinkles and ALL.

I’ll remind you if you remind me

To love the image in the mirror we see.

I’ll fix your crown when it’s off kilter,

(And post the occasional pic with no filter).

At this point in life, we’ve covered our bases,

We wear history itself on our faces.

Women of a “certain age?”

Let’s flip the script and turn the page

On accepting that we are fine as we are,

Embrace every crease, and wrinkle, and scar.

Cuz there ain’t nothing more fierce, feisty, and bold

Than a woman over half a century old.