I used to be nervous
short of breath
Now I’m at ease in all sorts of company
able to speak to coach drivers, painters,
Hare Krishna monks, workmates.
Recently, I’ve been known to dance extravagantly
holding one foot behind me
and swinging the resulting stump around
like I was painting a Jackson Pollock.
Sometimes I smile at people in the street.
There’s one thing
sure to bring back
my teenage self
Shopping for jeans has my throat stifled
like a drainpipe full of scum
trying to ask for a pair with longer legs
without sounding as if I were asking
for costume drama midget pornography.
I sweat at the dilemma of choosing between
bootcut, regular, or skinny fittings
and slightly different shades of blue.
Nothing looks right
but I’m damned
if I’ll leave empty handed.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever looked at my own arse for so long.
Finally, I buy that first pair
at the cost of a day’s work
and slip back out, blushing.