She learned, at some surprise point,
That pearl earrings and blistered feet,
Strong, sure hands and soft, small touch,
Mud-splattered mornings and rouge-tinted nights
Did not have to be mutually exclusive.
She learned, all at once but gently,
Like awakening from a heavy sleep,
That beauty and strength – grit, grime, and grace –
Could live together in one entity,
Like burning fire in the dark of space,
Or rain and lightening in a storm.

– s. Clark