“My Face at 46” by Terry Godbey

Terry Godbey


I’ve seen enough of my mouth
wrinkled as a drawstring purse,
my parade of big teeth,
the two in front tipping forward
like drunks, my right ear higher
than the left, skewing my earrings
like weights on a grandfather clock.
God makes us like a puzzle
and sometimes he mixes up the pieces,

my little boy says. I don’t blame anyone
but dread what’s next: breasts slowly
letting go, hands speckled like trout.
Most mornings I figure why bother
and dash off without mascara
or lipstick. Is that really me,
or is it the young woman
out of a Flemish oil painting
I expect to see in the mirror, flesh firm
and unblemished, a touch of blush
from anticipation, the bowl of satiny fruit
bursting from the table
paling next to her untasted beauty,
her boundless appetites.

from Rattle #23, Summer 2005

Rattle Logo