I unclasp vanity, its rope of turquoise beads,
from around the circumference of my neck.
Its weight chafes; my neck muscles ache,
stiff and sore from its accessory load.
There is freedom in plain-ness;
soft interlochen cotton shirts,
an unadorned form tucked into faded blue
denim jeans, broken-in by a hundred washings—
unrestricted movement, the waistband elastic.
Feet in loafers, heels shoved to the back
of the bedroom closet, toes stretch
in relieved gratitude.
An identity of acceptance, the
need to make an artificial impression—
of no consequence, of minimal importance.
And like my body, I wrap my words,
the poems of my heart, my life
in plain paper covers: unwrapped
they must speak for themselves or
not at all.
c.Darlene Moore Berg