Body After Babies :: Letter to my Body(s)


I see you there, six

with your skinned knees and short hair,

chasing after the boys down the street

with a skateboard under your arm.


I see you wanting to fit in

with your brother, even

wearing his clothes. Wanting to

be the same.

(But in secret, wearing your cousin’s

princess hat and staring at your pretty

reflection in the mirror.)


I see you, too, thirteen,

hormones surging and body changing and

so uncertain of the person you are becoming.

I see your fear and excitement. I see you

wishing you were prettier, and thinner,

and stronger, and taller

and not recognizing the grace and

strength you show when you score a goal

in the last five minutes on the soccer field.


And, oh, twenty. I see you. I see you

floundering and less certain of yourself

than you’ve ever been.

I see you counting bites of rice

and scraping butter off of bread.

I see the scars –

the scars you gave yourself to hide the scars

that men left you with, both seen and unseen.

I see you wanting to give up.

Give in.

I see you, though, fighting back,

with different hair colors every month

and secret tattoos and nose rings –

rebelling, but also trying to hold on.


And now, thirtyfour, I see you.

I see you bemused and happy, annoyed

and confident. I see you poking your doughy middle,

riddled with stretchmarks, recent and old, faded and new.

I see you looking wistfully at the jeans in the back

of the closet,

knowing you should just get rid of them

(but hanging on, just in case).

I see you both proud of a body

that grew life

and nourished life,

and embarrassed that it still wobbles when

you laugh too hard.

I see you portioning vegetables for small

fingers, and I see you rushing back into the house

because you forgot to

brush your teeth before loading up the car.

I see you holding dimpled hands

and kissing owies

and rubbing sleepy heads.

I see you giving everything you can

but still hoping to hold on to

just a bit

for yourself.




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