How to See
All the other girls wore bras and complained of cramps well before I did, so by the time that summer before 8th grade hit, I was dying to be a woman, just to know some sense of maturity.
So when it hit – my string-bean figure plumpened, my eyebrows black as night – I ached up 6 inches in one summer, longing to kiss a boy, ears open as funnel. I grew up so quickly that I kept bruises on my shoulders from door frames and gashes in my heals from kicking myself.
I was messy, becoming beautiful. In the makeup and the crushes, the desire to be wild as blackberry, my gaze fixed on thorns, not knowing I had design, blossom, sweetness.
Still I find myself reveling in the thorns, honing in on the yell, artistic desire, the leaky ink soaked into my old quilt.
I set the table, clumsy, wiping away dinner crumbs to place their bowls of cereal for breakfast. I call them, and they don’t come. I grab the Bible for our reading, and I shovel heaping spoons into my pregnant mouth. I steam hot.
Again I call. Again, and they do trickle in to the seats, all three, and there they fight. My face twists, mouth chewing, “now sit down, and listen!” I read but the heart kettle still whistles, and I know that they know.
We’ve been reading consistently for months now, and just now I ask questions, and they answer, and they remember. I taste fruit.
We pray. Lord, help us to know your love. They leave the table covered in sticky milk, and I do wipe it clean, still looking for the pressure valve. Homeschool starts after my shower.
The steam fills the bathroom. I weigh myself. I stand at foggy mirror. For my 32nd birthday, I’ll birth a baby. I smile at my 14-week-pregnant profile, how fast I grow and how I love already. Already, what a child!
Should my baby grow as I desire, slowly and fully, I would hope she or he would see the wonder of it, know my delight, not fret so.
Am I, myself, allowed to say that I’m beautiful?
I know I’m an apple,
a work, not a bad idea-
only not quite ripe, tart and fragrant.
It’s okay to be okay with the season, self, apple of God Eye, living in the not yet. Tomorrow fullness comes, tears at the seams even, but this is a beauty all its own.