I Entered the Room Naked

Nancy Louise Peterson
From The Cancer Poetry Project (Karin B. Miller, Editor), Copyright © 2001 Fairview Press
Last Modified: October 13, 2002

finally brought the full-length mirror
to see my back,
shoulder blade to heel,
to see my front,
ankle to stitched chest,
trying to remember how they looked, those nipples,
up to my hair that will be gone, too, in a few weeks.
And I paid closer attention to the crease
in the back of my leg I hadn?t noticed before,
the angle of the curve in my back,
the mole at the top of my thigh,
the wisp of hair around my lips.

I raised the jar to the flat of my head
and walked across the hardwood floor,
full of grace.
I caught a glimpse of the swan, her neck movement,
a glimpse of the lioness, her shoulder muscle,
a glimpse of this ancient one, her padded feet,
and I loved her.

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