It’s been skinned knees while climbing up trees,

rollerblades dragged by a puppy on a leash.

Mom hates hers, Grandma does too-

should I hate this body? Haven’t got a clue.

Given a candle for purity. But why’s the burden always on me? 

Told not to make the boys stumble, but what if 

I make a mistake? What if I fumble? 

These urges, they come naturally.

It’s been goals and steals, laps

and counterattacks.

The stop clock runs out on the play

this body is on fire, get out the way.

What is this body? What do you want it to be? 

It’s been objectified and enjoyed-

it’s been grabbed and pinched by the boys.

It’s been controlled and then blamed,

violated and shamed.

It’s been respected and not

told it’s ugly and hot.

Flat as a pancake, are you anorexic?

Dress how you’ve been taught.

This body- it’s more than you see.

It’s buzzing with strength and anxiety.

It’s crushing the obstacles, and

it’s carried my greatest joy, my babies.

Not without pain, it’s also betrayed me

watching that first baby drop out and bleed.

The first life it made, it couldn’t last

we conceived our rainbow, almost too fast.

Stretching, expanding, the lines of life appear.

Our first boy, bringing hope and fear.

They touch my belly, make their comments-

how can I make their words disappear? 

This body, it birthed our son

though my pelvis wanted to keep him.

The tearing, the pain, I remember so clearly-

but he was worth all it had to overcome.

What is this body? What do you want it to be? 

It once fit a certain societal mold

but now I’m a mom, what does it hold?

It’s engorged breasts, everything else is softer-

I want everything covered, this body grows cold.

Another son, this body has made,

instead of push, I was strapped down and laid.

his tiny hand, it grasped my shaking fingers-

This scar for him will never fade.

Now these hands are full, they always say-

strangers look at me and grin.

But there’s something they cannot weigh

my heart’s fuller than it’s ever been.

What is this body? What do you want it to be? 

It’s simply that. Just a body.

But I’m proud that it’s mine.

I don’t love it or hate it-

just learning to be kind.

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