#NaPoMo 12

I wanted to wrap up this week of David Whyte’s poetry with some of my favorite work. I honor and appreciate the poems that change and challenge me, but I long for poems that love me. How does a poem do that? By helping me to love myself. I shared this poem last year, but it bears repeating.

“Midlife Woman”

Mid life woman

you are not

invisible to me.

I seem to see

beneath your face

all the women

you have ever been.


Midlife woman

I have grown with you


in another parallel,

breathing with you

as you breathed,

seeing with you

as you see,

lining my face

with an earned care

as you lined yours,

waiting for you

as it seems

you waited for me.


Mid life woman

I see your

inner complexion

breathing beneath

your outward gaze,

I see all your lives

and all your loves,

it must be for you

that I wanted to become

more generous,

a better man

than ever I could be

when young,

let me join all your

present giving

and all your receiving,

through you I learn

the full imagination

of every previous affection.


Mid life woman

you are not invisible to me,

in you

I see a young girl,

lifting her face to the sky,

I see the young woman

in haloed light,

full and strong,

standing before

the altar of time,

waiting for her chosen.

I see the mother in you,

in your past

or in some yet

to be understood


I see you

adoring and

I see you adored,

and now,

when I call your name

I want to see

day by day,

the woman

you will become

with me.


Mid-life woman

come to me now,

I see you more clearly

than all

the airbrushed

girls of the world.

I became a warrior

only to earn

your present

mature affection,

I bear my scars to you,

my eyes are lined

to smile with you

and I come to you


and unshaven

walking rough

and wild through rain

and wind and I pace

the mountain

all night

in my happy,


at finding you.


Mid life woman,

In the dark of the night

I take you in my arms

and in that embracing

invisibility feel all of your

inner lives made touchable

and visible again.


Mid-life woman

I have earned

my ability to adore you.

Mid life woman

you are not invisible to me.

Come to me now

and let me kiss passionately

all the beautiful women

who have

ever lived in you.

My promise

is to you now

and all their future lives.


I do not know a middle-aged woman, who does not long to be seen in this way. We don’t know how to ask for it and only poets like Whyte can speak it so eloquently, but  everyone longs to be loved for the fullness of their humanity, not just the veneer of their imagery. In a world that worships at the fountain of youth, mid-life is the turning point when the accolades diminish and the dream of being loved passionately begins to fade away. We are softer; our faces are lined; our hearts and bodies are marked by the cares we have carried for years. It’s easy to believe love will never come, or that if we had it once, it will never come again.  Are we worthy of love even now, at this late hour? Whyte says yes, and yes, and yes again.

To the midlife women reading this, let this poem be a mirror, reflecting you in all your beauty. And if you love a woman in her midlife, let her know through a word, a glance, or an embrace. Even a silent prayer of gratitude may carry the energy she needs to keep going and growing in wisdom, age and grace.

IMG_6648 2
“Midlife Woman” PC: Matt Maude, London, 2015



Leave a Comment

  1. What a magnificent poem!!!Thank you dear girl for sharing it, and David Whyte for writing it with such deep finesse.


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