My sisters, the time has come
to let your hair grow long and wild and grey,
to cast away the heated rollers and the tongs.
So when the moon is nine months full
let us meet out on our lawns,
let us burn our diet sheets,
let us pound our bathroom scales
to heaps of rusting springs.
Let us shred our measuring tapes,
our Firmer Buttocks videos.
Let us burn an effigy of Aphrodite.
Let us tip our eye creams down the pan.
Let us revel in our pink plump ripeness.
Let us wear our stretch marks like shining honours.
Let us celebrate ourselves – because we can.
For we have bodies that have loved.
We have bodies that have lived.
Mouths that have savoured cheese and meat
and dribbled over chocolate and fruit,
tongues that have tasted good and evil,
lips that have sipped fine wines,
fingers that have stroked . . .
We have been the carriers of babes.
Our bellies have swollen with drumlin curves,
our breasts have hung like ripened fruit,
our teeth have bitten skin and threads.
We have swallowed bitter pills.
We have known dark bloodstains on our hands.
We have been the carriers of laughter and of pain,
the healers of our children’s ills. We have lain
below the stars. We have lain below our men.
Yes, sisters, now the time has come
to claim our bodies for ourselves.
For in our silver hair, our well-filled thighs,
in those laughter lines that crowd our eyes –
we live, we are alive.