belly painting 2

A poem I wrote today, some of it while I was in the shower.

Thoughts A Modern Woman Has While Showering

You look great. I don’t always feel great. You look like half of you has disappeared. Not half, but enough. Too much. As Austen might say, it was unconsciously done. You look so pretty when you wear makeup. My makeup is the disguise I wear when I want to feel pretty. When I don’t feel like being my everyday self. My unpretty self. When I want to butterfly myself. For me. Perhaps for you too.

Did someone break your nose? Your eyes are too small to wear eye liner. It’s funny because when I started wearing glasses, I discovered they weren’t only for my eyesight. They hide my beak. They anime my eyes. They softened the smokey shadow I tried for fun, but was too much for a night out.

No one sees the double hills, the deep valley, the tiny volcano of my navel when I suck in my stomach. No one sees my deflated balloons, the healed scars from four months of bad latching and toothless gums. No one sees the rivulets in my epidermis or the vanished scars under the forest. No one sees them, but me.

What is it we say to our toddlers in packed malls or busy playgrounds? If you can’t see me, I can’t see you. You don’t see me. I don’t see you.

belly painting

The beautiful flower on my very pregnant belly above was painted in 2010 by my friend Norita.

Thanks for reading.

A. Cook

Amanda Cook is a stay-at-home-mom and writer living in the rolling hills of southern Indiana. When she’s not caring for her family or obsessing over punctuation, she can be found helping out at her sons' school, catching up on her Goodreads list, playing (and sometimes winning, but mostly losing) board games with her friends, crying over her favorite PBS programs, or sewing yet another costume for the local gaming/pop culture convention, where she’ll probably lose at even more board games.

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