Alchemy

I have become that older woman
the one who walks to work
in dress slacks and running shoes
who stops to photograph flowers
on the side of the road

I have become that older woman
whose perky backside and luxurious mane
still inspire whistles from the rear view
eagerness that shrinks from the front
sight of frosted temples
and tired eyes

I have become that older woman
who wears purple and sensible shoes
who craves sleep over sex
prefers deep conversations to nightclubs
chooses in over out
who says “no!” and
“I really meant it!” and
“I’m not going to work harder than you anymore!” and
“don’t you EVER do that again!”

I still care about what others think
but less so
I still refresh my lip gloss
and listen
I just hear my inner voice more clearly
see truth more swiftly
speak less cautiously

When did I become this older woman?

The day my bleeding began to falter?
The day my heart broke for the last time?
The day I noticed the women like me
in my favorite boutique
were the moms and not the customers?
Or when I realized life
was half over?

Now that my life is half over
I wonder
what will become of this older woman?

What is her new alchemy?
How will I convert this fading
into flame?

© S. Rinderle, 3/4/15