Honoring The Body

Sometimes I feel at odds with my body or frustrated or discouraged or disappointed. So much has happened to me. I wrote the first poem below after the lessons of breast cancer treatment and recovery, the second one just before another cancer diagnosis nine years later. During rough times, I may read it aloud to myself. Perhaps you have those times too.


Let the Body Speak

if it wants rest…
give rest,

if it wants motion…
give motion.

Do not nag or numb,
poke or prod,
just listen

to the ancient wisdom
spoken in language
older than any other.

Let the Body speak
in quiet, even tones,

let the Body speak
without shouting in anger

at such long neglect,
at such secondary status.

We inhabit this particular Body,
which is in our care,

for good reason,
not to frustrate us

with tests we can’t pass,
not to beat on mercilessly

“no pain, no gain,”
but to protect our luminosity,

to enjoy, to love, to grow with.
Let the Body speak

and then listen
and act on its behalf.

The Body knows precisely
what it needs, just ask…

and listen.
Be gentle, approaching
as you would a wary puppy;
put out your hand and edge closer.

The Body is familiar with deceit,
with promises made and not kept.

Trust will take time to build;
it is so easy to fall back

into old familiar patterns.
But I tell you this:

we will not regain full power
until the Body is an equal partner.

Let the Body speak…
and listen.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1998



Love and Only Love

Love with every stroke of the shaver,
with every lather of soap, slather of lotion, love.

Not impatience, not frustration, not disgust
at varicose veins, sags, wrinkles, scars,

but love,
with every look, every caress

at the power, the strength,
the beauty of this body in my care.

Love with every glance in the mirror
every wry smile, every tear.

Love, love and only love.
Yes, other thoughts slip in,

let them slip out,
no recrimination, no justification.

Love with every stroke,
healing in my touch, breath

and blink of an eye.
Love, love and only love.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2007

“Let the Body Speak” is from As Easy as Breathing

Also recorded on my CD, Full Blooming: Selections from a Poetic Journal   Listen here

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