musing on calf muscles

my calves have always bothered me
too big, too round, too much

no matter how many times
i’ve been told they’re fine
tell myself to accept them

i still think about how
many miles of walking
will slim them, whether
i should start long-distance
running again, whether
skinny jeans actually
look right on me, whether
i look disproportional

stevie’s song goes
“her skirt is short
but Lord her legs are sturdy”

it occurred to me this week
that maybe my sturdiness
is because of
tiptoeing
all my life
afraid to make a sound
walking down long dark hallways
in the middle of the night
trying to be careful not
to disturb family members

i walk lightly
on the balls of my feet
unconsciously being as quiet as possible
with every step

what would happen if
i just relaxed
let my heels hit the ground?

my calves might not be thinner
but it’s worth experimenting
in being less concerned
about making a sound

there is another lesson here:
my legs have become strong
through my careful quiet

strength does not always mean
being loud.

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