Finally from the Inside
by Judith Cullen
Quite ordinary, this couple:
she was not a breathtaking beauty,
he was not ruggedly handsome.
Not dressed all in the mode,
shoes showing some common wear.
They were not blushing youths,
but had not reached the middle.
There they were, resplendent
in their normality.
Little things gave them away;
how they dropped off the prescription
together, speaking casually.
Their rapport steady, not constant.
A gesture by way of direction,
the closeness of their walking,
a momentary grasped hand.
It was an effortless, comfortable,
I watched them as they passed,
conscious of so many years when
such a presence would make me ache.
Looking upon such manifest
reflections of companionship,
I would have felt outside it,
as one who is barred entry,
inexplicably excluded from an
Yet, for the very first time,
I saw this affinity with a new view;
the inside of their coupling.
She ignores that ratty t-shirt.
He never openly corrects her.
Their imperfections accommodated;
their humanity embraced, forgiven.
Averageness sublimely simple,
I saw myself capable of this beauty,
this rumpled, worn allurement finally
somehow within my own grasp.
It could really be my hand,
my voice fondly familiar,
my choice to accept, love,
to enfold and absolve someone;
and as a consequence exploring
a path of loving myself.