Venus de Milo: On Being Rediscovered

It’s like that moment,
hair mussed,
teeth coated
in the stale air
of the morning after
when rushing
for a taxi,
and shoes
in hand,
you encounter
anyone who
thinks they
know you.


Copyright © 2021 by Karen Head. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 30, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

When I turned fifty, a friend told me that one of the great joys of aging is no longer needing outside validation. Not long after that conversation, I needed shoulder surgery. One day, after passing several friends and acquaintances on my way to physical therapy, looking anything but my best and genuinely not caring what they thought, I found myself reading an article about the Venus de Milo. The idea of being discovered in a state that some would argue is not beautiful inspired me to write this modern aubade.”
Karen Head