Rust is iron oxide forming on
iron-based metal exposed to the elements
when its protective coating wears off.
A sign of aging and presumed neglect.
I embraced my rusty exterior today. I've exposed myself to the natural elements as well as the natural course of events; moving along
the inevitable, unavoidable road,
broad and bright and the one less-traveled.
Rust is gray hair and wrinkles.
It's middle-age spread and crows' feet, furrowed brow and liver-spots, cautious gait and more frequent potty breaks.
The rush is forever on
to remove it from sight,
as it hampers “beauty,” utility and signals impending demise.
Rust is character speaking quietly
of endurance and steadfastness,
and natural adaptation to this Truth:
Life's a gift, our most precious commodity.
Rust reflects history,
not the hysteria of denying Time
by having one's face or body sliced
and stitched or injected
with a potentially fatal neurotoxin.
Rust's both gradual and natural.
Its colour is the setting sun;
the colour of Autumn's tell-tale leaves signaling the approach of winter's rest.
Rust is not subtle and willingly dismissed.
“I am here! I am bold!
This is the glorious trade-off
for superficial beauty and smooth skin.
It's the inevitable Enterprise, boldly going where everyone will,
whether rust-coated or coated
with presumptive and pretentious paint.
Yes, I'm embracing and comforted
by my rusty exterior today.
I'm celebrating and touting
my iron-based strength,
acknowledging Time has brought me
to this appreciation and
will escort me onward while allowing me
to leave behind the material evidence
of that quality
in my rust
in the dust
Lindsey Grant lives in Portland, Oregon, and self-identifies as a neurodiverse, two-spirit, elder whose journey toward a well-balanced life has meant enduring and overcoming domestic violence, evangelical cultism, medical malpractice, and employment as a bureaucrat.