picture of us

by on October 11, 2008 :: 0 comments

when we were young and beautiful, did we know it?
wild fire in our eyes. we didn’t think of being old,
of fine lines forming creases where the smiles burrowed in
and etched their permanent scars and the eyes lost their fire.
we didn’t think of surgeries and mammograms and
blood pressure and magnesium and vitamin D and
bad backs and aching hips and retirement funds and
why the hell are we waking up so fucking early. without an alarm.
we thought of cocktails, ecstasy, bliss and
of course the eternal dilemma: what to wear.

when we were young and beautiful we didn’t know it.
we wished we were something else- thinner. prettier.
we did not have it in us to say ‘i love being this.’
though now we wish we would have.
when we were young and beautiful we didn’t know what we know now.
we’re learning to love ourselves better than we did,
when we were young and beautiful.
that counts for something, right?
oh the trading, the swapping of this for that, that becomes our reality
we trade our youth for wisdom,
our energy for insight, our restlessness for the solid sense
of living in our own skin, owning our own bodies, knowing our own selves
and liking ourselves way better,
being so much nicer to our still sweet
still tender hearts. growing softer, kinder, older, wiser,

maybe we get to keep the beauty, it just shifts
and evolves into some other kind, of what we didn’t have
the experience to recognize as such,
when we were young and beautiful.
i finally know how to love me.
yet there’s a rip inside when i look at the picture of us
remembering what was and wishing
i would have taken better care of it all
that i would have stopped, and breathed into the realness of it all
“these are days…” we sang, as if
the whole world revolved around us
and it did, yes it did.
we were reckless. selfish. careless.
when we were young and beautiful.
but i bet someday way out there in a faraway tomorrow
we’ll look back at today at our middle-aged today-selves
and sigh ho-hum with an ache in our back, with a sad little smile
and think “oh, when we were young and beautiful…”
but mostly we’ll be glad to be here. still here. very here. we are here.
not young. but still so beautiful.

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