If My Body Could Talk to Me, Here’s What She Would Say
Poetry in free verse
Poetry in free verse
You were eleven when you started hating me.
Yes, I understand it must have been tough
when the other girls at school called you “fat”,
and excluded you from their “gang”
because they didn’t think you were “cool” enough.
I understand why you took out the anger on me.
You stopped having lunch,
throwing the food your mother packed
out of the school-bus window,
because you believed being skinny
would help you earn the approval
you craved so much.
You were thirteen when you decided
the only reason your crush doesn’t like you back
is because you are fat.
You started punishing me,
throwing insults at the mirror each day,
wishing I was smaller, fairer, daintier.
But, I was strong,
and that’s something you didn’t see.
I never complained when you slumped on your couch all day
or stared at the computer screen for hours.
I protected you from the chickenpox your friends had,
helped you climb mountains
and sample exotic cuisines without falling sick.
And all I got in return
I have been with you through thick and thin,
loved you with all I had,
maybe I didn’t know how to be flawless,
but I kept you safe when things went bad.
You are twenty-eight now,
and even though you spend your day
commenting “You go girl”
on body-positivity pages on Instagram,
but before you go to bed each night,
you still curse me.
You pull my fat rolls and frown at your pictures,
wishing, hoping for me to be smaller, fairer, daintier,
when all I asked for was some love.
When will you wake up, girl,
when will you wake up and see?
That you are only hurling hate at yourself
when you are hurling hate at me?
Let’s be best friends,
smile at the mirror, don’t frown.
Let’s be best friends, and I promise you-
I will never let you down.
Author’s note: If you liked this piece of work, you might enjoy my book Stolen Reflections: Some Stories Are Told in Verse — a collection of 100 poems exploring 15 different traditional poetry forms, including the haiku, tanka, limerick, palindrome and the modern free verse.