Bruises and All
These legs are mine.
They have carried me since I emerged a mermaid from my mother’s womb, swimming into being.
These legs have traveled great distances in small and wide open spaces. They’ve paced, climbed and hustled. They have swayed with the swaddled babe.
I’ve dislocated the right knee cap three times…tales for another time. Now my legs sing out warning that the rain is coming, another barometer in my body’s dowsing arsenal. They stiffen when they stop. These bruises are my vulnerability, the popping veins a map of my past.
They carried water up the hill for the thousandth fucking time.
They’ve dangled at the docks.
They’ve muled vegetables from the field.
They’ve straddled horses and balance beams.
These legs launched me from a spring board until I was sure I was a bird.
They’ve pedaled the streets of Oakland California and kicked the wheel.
They skipped school and mastered a clutch.
They have collapsed quaking from childbirth, impossible burdens, and the ecstasy of union and release.
They’ve stood still, waiting for the train.
These legs have kneeled in church and knelt in the grass.
They have folded in despair. They have found my feet when I didn’t think it was possible.
At 45 they still look good and work surprisingly well, though they really should stretch more. With blessings, these legs will carry me a bit farther down the line… toward the next adventure, bruises and all.