Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Guest Blogger, Angela Allyn

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Angela give us something to think about on International Women's Day.

April 15, 2003

Racing across town in the minivan
I ripped the first certifiable gray hair outta my head today.
not blond
not golden,
ash gray.

A rite of passage barely noticed
packed in between a surprise three-hour managers’ meeting
the line at the post office
don't be late to the NEW carpool schedule (tag, you are it).

Oh, it's coming all right.
That doorway to another age is forming
in the haze of e-mails and junk mail and lots of appointments.
The weird menstrual cycle and shifting hormones and creaky stiff muscles are whispering: change.

And in the odd and heartbreaking way that my universe balances itself,
my nine-year-old daughter gets her first pimple
and suddenly needs to bathe--
she is entering the room I am about to leave.

So where are the drumming, the sage, the elders,
welcoming me to the third age?
I want my croning ceremony,
I want to mark this inevitable moment
with something more
than the mental note to pick up the henna that covers gray.

The cell phone rings,
the idiot driver in front of me makes a left turn from the right lane
and the river of life washes me on downstream.
My first gray hair blows out the window in the warm spring breeze.

For lunch tomorrow this newly minted crone
will get a pedicure,
and tonight, a fine red wine with the microwave dinner.
To celebrate my coming of age.

This Body of Mine

This body of mine is not the body I really wanted.
This skinshell is not the stuff of dreams
But it does the job.
Three other people have lived here
A House they were renting
While their own place was built
And we are still having
“Ownership Issues.”
Squatters forget they don’t own the place.

This body never got to be the body I envisioned—
Always more than I liked and less than I wanted
It would have been good to be 5’8 with smaller breasts
That wouldn’t bounce then sag when I ran.
And the great bowl of my pelvis assured I would never have
A boyish dancer’s body.

But in the end, the shell moves forward
Attempting to overcome any functional flaws.
The lack of a deep plié, a dearth of turn-out,
Completely pitiful extensions, and too long of a waist to grace a leotard—
How I manage to have a decade-long career as a professional dancer
With this jalopy of a carcass is a bloody miracle.

So I point my wagon down the long road of aging
Where the parts begin to fail.
My scars are chapter headings as questionable pieces are removed
For further study.
So far, none of my cellular improvisations has proved dangerous,
But it does put you on the lookout for unruly growth.

And I watch time passing in my structure
In my skin.

Angela Allyn, founded her first dance company at the ripe old age of 18. She holds a BFA (Cum Laude) from the University of Notre Dame in Fine Art with a concentration in Photography and earned her MA from Columbia University. She has an broad background in the arts. Most recently she has become known as a poet, with work published in several collections and featured on Public Radio International. Currently, Allyn serves as the Cultural Arts Coordinator for the city of Evanston.

These poems appear in the book From There to Here: Points on the Circle of Life a collection of personal stories, poems and photographs. It was published in 2005 by