You sensed she’d reckoned
right from the start we were kitting-out
this wet-room especially for her.
That’s why she sits resplendent now
on the bath-stool she’s placed just-so
beneath the snaking shower head.
Only those parts of her usually
seen are out of sight; her perm
under the apple-green shower-cap,
her engagement solitaire islanded
on the side where her wedding-ring
waylays the play of light and glass.
And she’s kept her best dentures in.
Though you expected her crossed
arms and hands to mask her breasts
and what she names her fadge,
they’re flagrantly on view, as brazen
as the day of birth. So, let’s cherish
this wealth of flesh, worn honestly,
ready to accept the benediction
of pelting water-jets, the circling
shower-gel. See the caramel bands
that ring her nipples, the marbled thighs,
the archipelago of moles tracking down
her back, its alabaster sheen with
under-veins of magenta, indigo and red.
There’s beauty here – you could paint it
if she asked you to – a beauty
that counterpoints the hurt and harm
of ageing, the trials of time.
© Roger Elkin