Soon, If Not Today

Women exercising with tennis rackets

~ A worldly woman is one who is larger
———— at the equator than she is at the poles.

Stand erect with abdomen well in. Arms at thrust, fists closed,
knuckles downward. Put into action that old bromide:
good riddance to bad rubbish. Young mothers whose muscles
are sluggish after childbirth would do well to adopt
these exercises.


1) Have you some excess chins?

Try this: with your hands on your hips and thumbs touching
behind, imagine you are chewing a whole bunch of celery
or maybe a pineapple. Just toss that chip up and down
as fast as you can. Simulate chewing every day
at a rapid pace, two minutes at a time.


2) If you have thighs like the trunks of hemlocks…

your swim suit will conceal that sad fact like a three-cent stamp
conceals a coconut.  Here’s a simple exercise that streamlines
everything (and in today’s swim suit, Mama better be sure
she’s streamlined eight ways from breakfast):

Reach down, grab your ankles and walk around the room
in that position.
Just to make it a bit tougher, try to look
where you’re going. This most ungraceful of all exercises
is a dandy one for keeping milady’s thighs minimized.


3) Make the mirror like it

Here’s a little exercise that will put you in the class of folks
who can wear slacks with grace, nicety and éclat:

If your hips and buttocks are like this (        )
when they really should be like this (     )

sit on the floor in a back-leaning position with fingers
pointing to the rear. At the count of one, lift the body off
the floor and at the same time twist to the left
and come down on the floor again with the left hip.

Don’t be afraid to literally slam the hips on the floor.
It’s really a hip massage wherein the floor is the masseuse.


4) How to Walk

To strengthen the arches and make feet more shapely, walk
on the outside of the foot with toes pointed straight to the front.
Walk as if you were going somewhere. Walk smartly.

If you must point the toes outward, please don’t do it
at a forty-five degree angle as if you were trying
to make up your mind about which foot to follow:
the one going east or the one headed toward the setting sun.

Concerning these exercises:

The most pleasing words ever to fall upon the ears of a woman
are the thrilling, magical and long-awaited haven’t you lost?

When a lady walks into a canasta room and is greeted
by those three little words, all is right with the world—

there’s a God in the heavens.


Your Figure, Ladies
, Paul Fogarty, 1955


Lissa Kiernan

is artistic director of The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative and poetry editor, Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal. She holds an MFA from Stonecoast, an MA from The New School, and works as director of digital media for World Monuments Fund. More of her work can be found online in Canary, Qarrtsiluni, Whale Sound, Redheaded Stepchild and unSplendid, among others.

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