Which My Legs Are Accepted
By Kathleen Fraser
How we have suffered each other,
never meeting the standards of magazines
or official measurements.
I have hung you from trapezes,
sat you on wooden rollers,
pulled and pushed you
with the anxiety of taffy,
and still, you are yourselves!
Most obvious imperfection, blight on my fantasy life,
never to be skinny
or even hinting of the svelte beauties in history books
or Sears catalogues.
Here you are—solid, fleshy and
white as when I first noticed you, sitting on the toilet,
spread softly over the wooden seat,
having been with me only twelve years,
yet as obvious as the legs of my thirty-year-old gym teacher.
Oh that was the year we did acrobatics in the annual gym show.
How you split for me!
from this end of the gymnasium to the
ending in double splits,
legs you flashed in blue rayon slacks my mother bought for the
and though you were confidently swinging along,
the rest of me blushed at the sound of clapping.
How I have worried about you, not able to hide you,
embarrassed at beaches, in high school
when the cheerleaders’ slim brown legs
spread all over
with the perfection
I hated you, and still you have never given out on me.
I have risen to the top of blue waves,
I have carried food home as a loving gift
when my arms began un-
jelling like madrilène.
Legs, you are a pillow,
white and plentiful with feathers for his wild head.
You are the endless scenery
behind the tense sinewy elegance of his two dark legs.
You welcome him joyfully
And you will be the locks in a new canal between continents.
The ship of life will push out of you 55
in the whiteness,
in the first floating and rising of