This was published in 101 Word Story:
My sister picked me up at the airport. We drove straight to the nursing home. A year had passed since I’d last seen our mom. I braced myself, my sister telling me she’d changed for the worst.
At ninety-four, her body was shrunken in her metal hospital bed. She thought my sister was her aunt. She looked at me curiously and asked who I was. I lied, saying I did volunteer work. “You seem like a nice person,” she said. She looked off into the distance.
I can’t describe the sadness. We’d always had trouble connecting. Now it would be impossible.
(This poem was published this June in the anthology called Hers by Beatlick Press… and in July I was a finalist in the UK Fortnight Poetry Contest)
I like my body
I mean, it’s not the body of a young girl or even a middle-aged woman, but so what?
I’m old. My skin is old and it hangs, dramatically sagging
It folds into herringbone pleats
It falls into patterns that it never used to
My chin, my neck, my stomach, my back the most
My chin is crumbling but I love it
My neck is corded but I love it
My stomach is dimple deluxe and I love it
My back is shifting and I adore it too
There is no going back with 70-year-old skin
My inner thighs – I think they call them crepey
Meaning wrinkled, elephant grandma skin, but I prefer not those words
Besides, elephant skin is grand
It is fascinating as a fingerprint
It is matron skin
That’s just my skin deciding to be artistic, throwing a pucker party
I will keep my skin
I will keep my age
I will keep my body
I will celebrate it
Because my body is mine and therefore it is beautiful