Tag Archives: strength

Self Portrait


Should I focus on my size?
My eyes or hair?
How I’m shaped like a rectangle?
Bones sturdy enough to pull a plough.
Strong, straight legs bookending knees of butter.
Two feet with ten toes and sufficient arches.
My glorious, murderer’s thumbs living in the shadow
of fingers with knuckles undamaged
despite a childhood cracking habit
that my mother swore would transform
my capable hands to gnarly claws.
According to a CT scan, all my organs rest rightly.
Nothing extra. Nothing missing. Nothing out-of-place.
My brain and spine are not so pristine. A tad lacy,
but not ostentatiously so.
In recent years, my hair and I have reached an accord.
I let the curls reign unchecked.
My skin is creamy and pink except where
slashed with scars, large and small.
I smile with my whole face.
The blue and sometimes green of my eyes
gets swallowed when I laugh.
What I like the most about myself is my shoulders.
They carry everything,
even when I’m certain they can’t.

NaPoWriMo Day 25





At times, the wheels would get stuck
and she’d tug the mower free
from the section of yard near the pond
that had become more bog

than lawn. She’d plant her feet on the bank,
lower the machine down the slopping
sides nearest the water,
to cut back weeds and unearth

hidden. Green clippings scattering
across the brown surface
below, she feared losing her grip,
she and machine tumbling

as blades whirled,
churning the water as they
paddle-wheeled under and up.
Duck poop slick underfoot

as she pushed on,
she learned very young
how to remain upright
even if unsteady,

resist the slip, pull, surrender,
and find her way safely
out of the muck and back
to firmer ground.

April 2015
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 18





Feet pressed into the mat
she rises
arms extended
every imperfection
falling away
as she lengthens
each scar, swell, roll
wrinkle, grinding bone
all the measures
she misses outside
immaterial here

She is fluidity
in chaos
secure in this darkened room
where only candles glow
soft breeze dancing across her skin
music matched to each movement:
forward bend, lunge, plank, down dog, cobra, tree, dancer, willow, star, airplane, diving plane, mountain, warrior, lovers hands

“You give so much,”
whispers the calm voice,
urging her onward.
“Every day is different.
Every body different.
Trust yourself.
Listen to only your body.
Challenge yourself.
Lose your balance.
Try again.
There is no right or wrong.”

For this one hour
there are no phones
or children needing
no discord or dis-ease
only her breath
slow and steady
her muscles shaking
as she holds herself
damp from perspiration and uncertainty
she has never been more beautiful
serene, content, fulfilled,

Her love strengthening
with every pose
she is ready to bend farther
extend even more
in all light

April 2015
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 3


Rung Round




The purple bloom
on her hip
a painful flower
that will soon fade
causes her lips to curl
eyes spark and narrow

She presses her thumb
to the spot
wonders if it will blacken
before dying out
no one knowing
it floated there briefly
a veiled blot
a badge

April 2015
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 1






I am heart on thin, imperfect legs, barely managing to remain upright because of the weight of affection I carry.  I am longing and present and curse and laughter and hurt, exuberance and tenderness, disappointment…solace, reward, price, reckoning, chapter and volume, journey, destination.  I am costly.  Irreplaceable.  Replaced already.  Silenced.  Memory.

I am was.

I am


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 23