Come Friday, when the week is at last at an end,
I kick off my shoes and unhook my bra, releasing
my mighty grumbling breasts from their pen,
letting them roam, wild and untamed,
across the great unclaimed and uncharted
hills and valleys of my great belly below.
They’re a pouting, pendulous, petulant pair,
with brown eyes downcast, just hanging there.
I don’t know what it is that they’re looking for,
drooping and dazed in an unblinking stare;
maybe a lost contact or crumbs, or change on the floor.
They like being free, unfettered, unbound,
to mingle and swing, to visit their friends down below,
to hang with my navel and chat with my thighs.
Those down below are a wilder lot, flirtatious and coy,
daring and bold with the boys, dotty, and often unwise;
but my breasts find them heroic role models brazen and brave.
They envy them their underwear, all cotton comfort, so cool,
while they’re underwired in spandex and rubber;
it’s freedom they crave.
I hear them plotting and scheming, whispering of mutiny
with their wild southern friends in the brush;
something about passive resistance, failure to conform,
deciding just to hang down and hold, and not let me crush,
mold, tighten, tie, or restrain them in the cruel Maidenform.
I try now to lift and separate them, to gain some control,
to cover their eyes like wild horses, to wrestle them
back to their pen, away from the lure of the sweet grassy knoll.
Determined, they fight me, dragging and lagging behind,
daring, demanding, commanding attention, telling me you can
lead breasts back to bras, but you can’t keep them confined.
Sighing and shrugging, I back down a bit, leading them to shower
where I lather and gently bathe them while we talk, soaping
and soothing their stretch marks;
in here, we’re all equal in power.
Calmer now, I knead and caress them, checking for lumps,
listening as they blubber in the water, with soap in their eyes,
this ritual of caring we share, smoothing out the bumps
in our relationship of mutual need. They speak and I listen,
head hovering over them, bending close as they whisper
while I wash my knees and my toes. We step forth and glisten
on the mat where I pat my breasts dry, my compadres again.
Then I swathe them in flannel, warmed, soothed, now and clean,
they sigh with contentment and perch on my belly along with
the book that with four eyes we read,
reclining and lazy, we doze and we dream
of a future unfettered
where my breasts are again upright, perky, and grand,
of a time and place where support is passé and braless is “in”,
where breast cancer is unknown,
and there are no mammograms.
— Elaine Pedersen ©