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April in Middle Age

I find myself not asking am I still sexy
like all the magazines seem to demand
but am I happy am I falling apart
part of us decaying part of us radiant it seems
that there’s a balance on the whole after all
as our eyeballs thicken it corrects
so many stigmatisms and while I might be dead
I’m not
so that’s a celebration
worthy of pink cake and streamers
and right now there are cherry blossoms
tulips a whirl of petals in the air which makes all
the little indignities of aging (organs betraying us
growing tumors teeth falling out spine getting compressed
DNA unraveling
cells loosening their grip without warning)
seem worth it as long as I can still taste cherry popsicles
and remember how Coke was before it was new
and before internets and smartphones and apps
we had music on scratched plates
we had long boring stretches of summertime
we did not have helicopter parenting
we had bikes without helmets wind in our faces
we had exploration of caves without grownups
and now I am a grownup I still like to explore
and will continue to put my face in the flowers
and grab at handfuls of grass and dirt in April
I will put on a dress with roses and lipstick
and somehow regenerate
a cyborg of space and spring.


Jeannine Hall Gailey served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She is the author of five books of poetry and winner of the Moon City Press book prize. Her web site is www.webbish6.com.