She looks in her mirror,
turns slowly and twists
to see over her shoulder.
She can number the marks,
scars of surgery and childbirth.
She peels back her lips,
admires the close fit
of her gums, her sinuous tongue.
She pulls further back.
She loosens her chin, her ears,
shakes her head back
to slip off her scalp.
The rest is easier: a sharp shrug
to free her shoulders, a stroke
down her upper arms.
Pulling the tips of each finger
in turn, she smiles, thinks of gloves,
Audrey Hepburn. She hulas
her hips clear of cellulite,
points her toes to slide off
dimpled stockings, steps free.
She palms over the perfect dome
of her head, strokes muscles
as they move and stretch,
feels her sculpted cheek.
She stands before her mirror,
watches winks of light reflect
from loops of bowel, counts
her heartbeats, her lungs' billow.
She can't help grinning.
Published in 'Occupation', Ragged Raven Press, 2009.
Angela France has had poems published in many of the leading journals, in the UK and abroad. Her second collection, 'Occupation' is available from Ragged Raven Press.
Angela is features editor of Iota and an editor of ezine The Shit Creek Review. She also runs a monthly poetry cafe, 'Buzzwords'.