Self Conscious Young Lady

(based on a painting by Joan Semmel)

A young woman,
Maybe eighteen or nineteen,
With long brown hair,
And her grandmother’s blue opal ring on her finger.

She’s self conscious
But not too self conscious,
As she lets the robe fall from her body,
It’s silk floating delicately to the carpet floor.

She picks up the camera on her nightstand,
Heavy and black,
With an old fashioned flash
And a long leather cord.

With careful steps,
she heads up to her mirror,
And covers her face,
As she positions the camera.

The flash goes off once,
A third time.
Until she’s content.

She’s self conscious
But not too self conscious
Under her love for her body,
She is plagued by self doubt.

Too big,
Too small,
Too tall,
Too short.

Judgement after judgement
Day after day
What matters most to her is her love,
For herself and her body.

She’s a self conscious young lady
But not too self conscious.