It Depends On The Day

On a Bad Day
When I look in the mirror
I see
I see hair that should not be so grey
that easily adds ten years
to my age
I see a face that reveals
years of endurance and pain
dark circles from insomnia
and being up with children
night after night after night
I see a body
that by any Western standard
is ugly
That looks every bit
as if it has carried and birthed
four children
and reveals that I do not take
care of myself
I see eyes that disclose
obvious emotional pain
I see fear in them,
and self hatred
Behind the eyes, the ugly continues:
My life is a disaster.
I can't provide for my kids on my own
My ex still controls so much of my life
Who is ever going to want to be with me
Especially when I look like this
I am an emotional wreck
On A Good Day
When I look in the mirror
I see
I see rich, dark brown hair
with copper highlights
that remind me of my father's beard
that he wore when I was a little girl
I see a face that
is fair and unscarred
years of protecting it from the sun
and taking care of it morning and evening
reveal more girlish freckles than wrinkles
I see a body
that is healthy and strong
and always has been.
That while it fights
age, gravity, and the tendency to
hold on to baby weight,
has never experienced chronic pain
or battled with disease.
It has carried, birthed, and nurtured
four children
Leaving in its wake
extra skin and stretch marks
that many women
who long for a child
would take joy in possessing
I see eyes that
are kind
and have a beautiful dark green ring
I see in them genuine concern for others
and the perspective and compassion
that comes from experience
Behind the eyes, I hear affirmation:
My life is a series of experiences
that make me strong
I have extra time with my children right now
I give them affection, validation, and encouragement
In the present trial, am learning to be assertive and emotionally healthy
One day I will be unconditionally loved and supported
Accepted for my physical imperfections
And because of
not in spite of
the beauty that comes from brokenness


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