Being Women

Woman, Deconstructed

She forgets all of this and laughs like a young girl, small and satisfied with being alive.


Children grown, or almost

She still likes sex a little wild,

            a little daring.

Post-menopausal, yes,

but feels like 20—life still full of mystery

and anything is possible,

the next bend in the road

is the only one that matters.


Belly once flat and firm

as the floor

Now softened from birthing

her five children,

a waistline expanded 

in direct proportion to her heart.


When the lilacs and crab apples

bloom in Spring, she is three again,

or four or five at her grandparents’ farm.

Laying in the soft cool grass

beneath the flowering trees, breathing

in their unspoken promises

there was no way to know, then,

what pain would rain down 

with a multitude of other’s sins,

falling over her 

like scattered petals.


Sometimes the past rushes over her

like water over stone,

carving deep caverns into her basalt

and filling them up with ancient tears.


Her breasts are heavy with the lives 

of the many children she has nursed.

Being a woman of a certain age,

sometimes it hurts to stand up.

Little lines around her eyes

tell her stories, and her skin

is no longer soft as a fawn’s ear.

Yet, other times, she forgets all of this

and laughs like a young girl,

small and satisfied with being alive.


Something wild runs through her core,

something ancient and sweet,

untamed and unnameable

One day, she will lay down on this Earth,

her river will run to the sea and she will be—at once—

always and never was,

her wild tangle of love the only remembrance.

By Sheila Weidendorf

Sheila Weidendorf is a pianist and mother of five who split her time between the Pacific Northwest coast of the USA and Rajasthan. Although she is primarily a performing artist, she has been writing poetry and spiritual essays since about the age of ten, and is very passionate about it. She can be contacted at

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