In Praise of the Older Women at Water Aerobics


By Jane Attanucci

When I first splashed into the sparkling water
with all of you, my seniors by near decades,
I saw your smart, black bathing suits,
coifed crowns of tinted brown or gray,
some snapped into latex caps.
You stirred strong currents then, on cue,
reversed direction, inhaling laughter,
exhaling all your bluesy aches.

Oh, sister selkies, I still bob in
the buoyancy of your circle.
Scarred replacement knees, bald spots,
occasional red lipstick and funky plastic shades—
I delight in your aquatic ballet teaching me
to love old women, to love
the one I’m becoming.


Jane Attanucci has poems in journals including the Aurorean, Off the Coast, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing and Writer’s Almanac. Her chapbook, First Mud, (finalist in the Blast Furnace Contest, 2014) was released by Finishing Line Press (2015). She lives in Cambridge, MA.

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