DRAWING LESSON

I wrote this years ago for my friend Maggie, who at age 80 started modeling for art students, because, she said, “They need to know what old people look like.”  She liked the poem, and recorded herself reading it back to me. She died a couple of years ago, in her 90s. I miss her.

 

DRAWING LESSON

—in memory of Maggie Miller

 

Here you are, most with a world ahead,

some with half a world behind,

come to draw the human form.

And here I am naked before you

so comfortable, easy

in my eighty year old skin.

 

I love my folds,

metamorphosed mountains.

You think you can draw 

an old woman, dear babies?

Lean in, look hard.

It will cost you all your life.

 

I have been down deep, 

through muscle, sinew, bone.

Loved long a man long dead,

borne a son and let him go.

I am learning how to pray

and I laugh when you ask me to tell.

 

In my time I have come

to the heart’s solid core–

heat of life and more–

Now over you I pour 

my fire like water.

From where I lie I see

the place the stars will rise.

 

3 comments on “DRAWING LESSON

  1. inlandsea7@gmail.com says:

    M. thanks for this poem. wow for Maggie. I miss her…. for you and all those lucky art students

  2. Christine Lee Moore says:

    Oh, would that I felt that comfortable in my own skin! She must have been something. Through your poem, I know she’s someone I would have enjoyed knowing.

  3. She was remarkable. She always answered the phone with “Mrs. Miller.” After she told me about the modeling, she said, “it was a big step for me.” Really!

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