My Body Remembers

by Carol Milkuhn

being young. After I shower my skin craves 
anointing, seeks lotions that stave off 
the thirst of aging—
as if I could sate something so
inevitable, unavoidable,
verifiable.
But still I smooth in oils,
nurture skin now parched and puckered,
for here is a legacy, a legacy 
           of times that were sunbathed, sun-kissed
from swimming in rivers and rainforest pools,
by hiking the Rockies and biking Bear Mountain,
and so, as I minister,
I retouch youth
                 in the crease of a wrinkle.

Poetry Society of Vermont Members’ Choice Spring Contest 2023, Third Place