I happened to see it again this evening and opened randomly to a middle page to see what I might see. And this is the poem I saw:
Love at Fifty
by Marcia Woodruff
We come together shy as virgins
with neither beauty nor innocence
to cover our nakedness, only
these bodies which have served us well
to offer each other.
At twenty we would have dressed each other
in fantasy, draping over the damp flesh,
or turned one another into mirrors
so we could make love to ourselves.
But there is no mistaking us now.
Our eyes are sadder and wiser
as I finger the scar on your shoulder
where the pin went in,
and you touch the silver marks on my belly,
loose from childbearing.
"We are real," you say, and so we are,
standing here in our simple flesh
whereon our complicated histories are written,
our bodies turning into gifts
at the touch of our hands.
However literary or sentimental, the poem is wise. While I am not yet fifty, I'm no longer twenty either. My body also is scarred and silvered with stretch marks. The veteran lover of the poem heartens me to age graciously, to love courageously, to give my real and simple self. Her words, finding me midway, turn into gifts.