Lesléa Newman ~ writer ~

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Excerpts - Nobody's Mother

I Feel Good About My Neck
(for Nora Ephron, author of the bestseller, I Feel Bad About My Neck)

I feel good about my neck
that sturdy weathered lamppost
holding up the beacon
of my heavy head
for more than fifty years
and never once complaining

I feel good about my neck
which became a verb
when I became a teen
and wore garlands of amethyst
colored-hickies underneath slippery
silky scarves stolen from my mother

I feel good about my neck
Where else would I hang
the antique gold locket
that belonged to my bubbe
and holds an old photo
of my young grandfather
the man I was named for
the man I look like
the man I never met

I feel good about my neck
which harbors my throat
source of all sounds
starting with my first
raspy gasp as I barreled
into the world choking
on the umbilical cord
wrapped around me like a noose
until a doctor cut me loose
and I unleashed a loud indignant cry

I feel good about my neck
no longer swan-like
with its crepe papery
puckering wattle
that begins beneath my flaccid chin
and ends at the hollow
keyhole carved between my collar bones

I feel good about my neck
and let us not forget
the shy cashmere nape
hiding behind a thick
velvet drape of hair that parts
when my beloved seeks a special treat:
the sweet tender meat
of a blushing fuzzy peach

©2008 Lesléa Newman


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