This poem by Fleur Adcock is for all the women who, like me, are on the “darker side” of forty. She reminds us that there is more to beauty than flawless skin, and that the more we choose how we want to be in the world and how we want to live our lives, the happier we will be as we grow older. Enjoy the poem and celebrate the beautiful woman you are as you transition into mid life and all this life stage has to offer.
My face catches the wind
from the snow line
and flushes with a flush
that will never wholly settle.
Well, that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young forever, to pass.
I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
and only pretty enough to be seen
with a man who wanted to be seen
with a passable woman.
But now that I am in love
with a place that doesn’t care
how I look and if I am happy,
happy is how I look and that’s all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake,
my waist thicken, and the years
work all their usual changes.
If my face is to be weather beaten as well,
it’s little enough lost
for a year among the lakes and vales
where simply to look out my window
at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors
and to what my soul may wear
over its new complexion.