Demystifying Varicose Veins (A Poem)

I notice a dark vein on my right leg.
My mother has varicose veins.
I do not know what “varicose” means
(But I always imagined it spelled “vericose,”
with ver meaning truth),
but I know this:
She does not wear shorts,
or skirts above the knees,
or sheer pantyhose.
I know she hates her legs.

She hates her body and my body is her body and my body has varicose veins.

I used to be able to borrow her clothes.
I was never the little girl
playing in mommy’s high heels.
My feet fit perfectly in her flats.
(”I wore ballet flats on my wedding day.
Your father was my height when we got married.”)
Now I’m bigger than her,
I’ve outgrown the size she hated.
(”You could have lied about your weight on your license, you know.”)

Surely, one day, I’ll be smaller.
I’ll have a body we won’t hate.
But there is this vein,
as varicose as it gets,
and I am wearing shorts.

Photo by gil.

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