Plain Beauty

A summer of tapering

Then quitting altogether

Anxiety, yes

Pain, no

The honeymoon stage

Energetic, optimistic, confident

I can do this

No longer a slave

To my thirty-year habit

Of covering my face

Enhancing the real me

The withdrawal

From cosmetics

Veiled for now

By the outdoor life of summer

The tan, the sunglasses, a hat

Still, in the mirror

Someone else

Faded, blurry

A distant relative

A younger me

An older me

Then it’s back to teaching

To my people, my colleagues

A complete unveiling

Will we be strangers

Quiet, unsure, puzzled

Or will they accept me

Encourage me to do the same

I feel the wall

The pressure of a relapse

Shall I run back to beautiful

Or is it no longer there

And was it ever

Support is critical

No one stares

Or cares, really

They see me as me

The real me

The unveiled me

And in the mirror

I know her now

But what about photos

Who is that person

Faded, blurry

A distant relative

A younger me

An older me

The adjustment stage

Short-lived or

A lifetime of wondering

Questioning my choice

A gift for now

Of acceptance

Appreciation

Satisfaction

Liberation

Letting others see in me

What I have always seen in them

Plain beauty.

No make up

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