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Rust - Lindsey Grant

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.

It shouts,

“I am here! I am bold!

Pay attention!”

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

for generations.


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.


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