Erin, Age 43

Spaces of grey

Forty Fifty
2 min readJul 24


Erin Browning, Age 43

Erin is writer and artist working in mixed media. She owns a business treating clients with myofunctional disorders & recently put roots in Melrose, MA following a life rearranging. Throughout grief, as a widow, she leaned into complete presence, to explore creativity, joy, love & appreciation of her middle aged body, mind & soul looking past societal expectations and

grey scattered
through penny hued hair
the pattern arrives
for a framed face

wrinkles resultant
of lies I endured too long
and better — the laughs bellowed
once I recovered
from the man-boy who made me cry
one too many times

the dye
the shots between the eyebrows
cover it up
the depth come to surface

who taught us —
stay a little girl
or at least a young woman
try to recapture what was
for who —

make him look
make him stay
make her envy you
make them smile
make the mirror of everything wrong with them go away when they look at perfect you

hold your breath
you don’t know what’s coming next

from her

and the poison
tones me down
puts a thin barrier
my expression

and the world

its effects are fleeting
same as the unruly curls
fighting like hell to break free
same as my insides

but i am supposed to go back
to that numb version
over and over

smooth yourself
so you’ll please who —

frozen me is difficult to embrace
hard to love
you’d like real me better too



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