Three linked things: Bodies

Maggie Gray, 2013. Three linked things: Bodies. Reformulation, Summer, p.40.


The Book: Under the Skin by Alessandra Lemma

The Quotation

If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror to mirror
No vanity’s displayed;
I’m looking for the face I had
Before the world was made

W.B. Yeats

The Poem: Written on the Body

The body holds the secrets of a life
In both the posture and the markings on it.
The hieroglyphs that others can’t decipher
Written on the body.

The middle finger with callous formed
From scripting academia at first sight
But also from a knife cut making fires
Written on the body.

The fireside tartan on each ankle etched
Recalls stupidity in sun too bright
Advice not taken one will not forget
Written on the body.

The slashes that externalise despair
Are seen by others in a different light
They fade and shrink but are still there
Written on the body.

The belly soft with central nigra line
A mark of use the babies made of it
Though they are grown still there is the sign
Written on the body.

Now tattoos mark significant events
Heiroglyphs, flowers ,names hidden from sight
The pains and pleasure in open acknowledgement
Written on the body.

As bodies shrink and ache and alter day to day
And daily gazing in the mirror leads to fright
As age advances it’s inexorable way
It’s written on the body.

Full Reference

Maggie Gray, 2013. Three linked things: Bodies. Reformulation, Summer, p.40.

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