Poem by Gioconda Belli

A Poem by Gioconda Belli

I mentioned a few posts ago that April is National Poetry Month. Today I am sharing a funny and heartfelt poem by one of my favorite Central American poets, Gioconda Belli. Belli is a Nicaraguan poet, novelist, revolutionary, wife and mother. Like so many of us, she has worn many different faces in her lifetime. I know that I can identify with the perspective of the woman in this poem. Cindy Crawford I am not but in love with my husband, I am.

This poem makes me wonder if the husband cares that she isn’t Cindy Crawford? As women, we so often judge ourselves for our shortcomings, assuming others want us to be different or more than we are. In truth, others often love us exactly as we are and the lesson we need to learn is to love ourselves. Self-love and self-worth are at the core of our ability to succeed not just in our love lives but in our business as well. Cindy Crawford is smart and a savvy business woman who happens to be beautiful, too.

AT NIGHT, THE WIFE MAKES HER POINT

No.

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s legs.

I haven’t spent my life walking down runways in fashion shows,

dazzled under the glaring lights of photographers.

My legs broaden as they reach the hip

and in spite of my multiple efforts

to don aerobic gear, work out and sweat,

I can’t control their tendency to widen

like pillars ready to support a roof.

No.

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s waist

nor her perfectly smooth and slightly concave tummy

with the flawless navel at the center.

I might have had it once. Once I was even proud of that part of my anatomy.

That was before my son´s birth,

before he decided to be born in haste

and come into the world feet first,

before the C-section and the scar.

No.

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s arms

tanned, sculpted, each muscle shaped by the right exercise,

the precisely balanced weights.

My slim arms have no more muscles

than what are needed to type these characters,

carry my children, brush my hair,

gesticulate when I envision the future,

or embrace my friends.

No.

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s breasts

ample, round, C or B cup.

Mine are not so appealing in low cut dresses

in spite of my mother’s assurance -a mother’s words-

that breasts like mine, with no cleavage,

had the classical beauty of Milo’s Venus.

Ah! And the face.

How would I dare say I have a face like Cindy Crawford’s!

The beauty mark just at the corner of the mouth.

Such impeccable features: the big eyes,

the arched eyebrows, the delicate nose.

Out of habit, I’ve come to like my face:

the elephant’s eyes, the nose with its flaring nostrils,

the full lips, sensuous nevertheless.

All is spared with the help of the mane.

In this department, I can even beat Cindy Crawford.

I wonder if this affords you any consolation.

Last, but not least, -and this is the weightiest piece of evidence-

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s behind:

small, round, each half exquisitely outlined.

Mine is stubbornly ample, big,

amphora or clay vase, take your pick,

there is no way to hide it,

all I can do is not to be shy about it

use it to my advantage to sit comfortably and read,

or be a writer.

But tell me, how often have you had Cindy Crawford at your feet?

How often has she given you tenderness in the morning,

kisses on your neck while you sleep,

tickling, laughter, ice cream in bed,

an impromptu poem, the idea for an adventure,

the foresight?

What experiences could Cindy Crawford tell you

that would remotely resemble mine?

What revolutions, conspiracies, historical events

has she to her account?

Modesty aside, would her perfect body

match mine’s abandonment,

the gusto, the gentleness,

the wisdom of morningless nights,

and nightless mornings

exploring the many landscapes of your geography?

Think it over.

Appraise my offer.

Put down that magazine

and come to bed.