Searching for My Own Body

By Kathee Miller

My body is an old relic, archaeological dig,
the storehouse of hidden memories.
It’s from the 1950s, time of black-and-white TV,
Sara Lee Pound cake, Wonder White bread
sitting on the curb eating Dixie cups in the summer;
call it innocent and carefree, suntanned without worries.
My body is a cauldron of hormones
and surprises in the making,
a bud, a blossom, a fruit about to be picked,
Hulu hooping sideshow.
My body is a tower, tallest in the school
it stands up, Proud Mary, Dancing in the Streets
then slumps. Body is a traffic light from green to red,
the green again, a rising tree, a bent limb,
a highway out of town.
It is from the 60’s, a kaleidoscope,
a mud-sliding colliding charismatic Foxy Lady,
it’s a Locomotion, Hully-Gully, Rolling Stone;
it’s the Age of Aquarius, long haired, bare breasted
festival of senses.
It’s from the 70s, a cave, a back trail, a garden
a ship at sea, hot-bed of lovemaking,
a flourish, a Fragrant Cloud rose.
In the 80 it’s a deep well, wise counsel, a cow,
the fertile ground, incubator, person-maker,
Mother goddess-gateway to life and death,
bloody but unbowed.
In the 90s it’s an unending worker bee,
a Mama bear, its own canyon and country. Dialect.
It is centennial, hidden hot spring, wildfire
a river flowing to the ocean,
memory keeper, archive of longing
encyclopedia of gestures.
Decades pass, a church without walls,
prayer flag flapping in the wind,
the next storm coming.
It’s from now, chosen mourner,
old crow, border crosser,
protester, dreamer
a stone under the open sky
absorbing moonlight.

Kathee Miller, a professor of depth psychology, has been writing as long as she can remember, from her origins in New York to California, bringing a deep embodied connection to music, art, memory and place. Various books—Pepper Lane Review, Rare Feathers, To Give Life a Shape, Women’s Mysteries—and journals contain her poetry. Also by this poet: "Sporty Girl"