Maybe it’s true. You get to an age. 

Call it existential. Call it mid-life. Call it 

finding home again as you wind down

from the life you’ve known so long, 

skin thinner, reservoir receding. 

The squeak and whistle of the pipes, 

hissing of the old radiator. I don’t want 

to explain myself. Just let me be 

without shaming, without adjectives, 

with no limits as to what you see 

I can be. I know me. I’ve spent my life 

in this body. This body that has transcended 

and faltered; that I’ve shared willingly, 

and that was taken from me once. 

But I’ve built this house from plank 

and brick, crackled tile in sky blue, 

hand-wrought iron, filigreed. No floor 

in this house buckles, no weakness 

in these walls. Each chamber is framed 

in rosewood & purpleheart. Each timber 

made stronger from the quaking. 

© Barb Reynolds