Good morning, lady.
You'd glare if I called you that.
You're no lady,
Just a woman, a mother, a wife.
Other labels have peeled away
to leave you feeling somewhat hollow.
You let the shower warm up
while you brush your teeth.
Mist settles on your collection
of rusty pink razors
and empty shampoo bottles.
The baby coos at you from her bouncy seat.
Her brother wakes in search of the remote,
and cartoon theme songs echo off the tiles.
Your pajamas come off
and you cringe at your reflection.
All you see is a pile of flaws,
but you shouldn't.
Your thighs do not thunder.
They are the concentrated strength
that lets you run, bike, play.
They are the soft lap
your children seek when they need comfort.
You scratch at your stretch marks.
They are warrior tattoos,
symbols of the trials you survived.
Your stomach is not dough,
it is a patterned pillow
where your children rest their heads.
It was their first home,
and where you first fell in love with them.
Your breasts are not ugly, not ruined.
They nourished your children,
were the remedy to their discomfort,
were why they smiled as they dreamed.
I know you feel lost,
like your old self is gone forever,
but it isn't.
You just need a little time
so be patient, you'll get there,
you'll find your way back to yourself.
You don't need to smile yet,
Your weary face is beautiful.
The baby giggles at you,
her favorite thing in the world,
her entire world.
Lady, magnificent mama,
step into that shower,
and wash your self-loathing away.