*Trigger Warning* The following poem contains description of eating disorders and their tragic consequences. If this topic is something that would cause you anxiety or worse, please don’t read this post. ❤
Today’s poetic topic is a heavy one, not going to lie. Eating disorders are a tragically prevalent exhibition of our world’s broken status. Though I don’t personally struggle with one myself, I have have close friends who battle with the tight and deadly grip of this mental illness. It’s hard to watch, and even harder to experience. This poem is written from a heart that hurts for those grappling with any eating disorder (though this poem specifically deals with anorexia). It is something that carries a great weight and stigma about it, which only adds to the weight those suffering with eating disorders carry. My hope is that my poem may ignite a sorrow and compassion in you, the reader; and that you might be inspired to learn more about how you can care well for and come alongside those who are fighting the battle against eating disorders. ❤
Stretch me thin as I knead this pie dough,
look for the light through my hands, flour-dusted
and trembling as I pour pumpkin and cinnamon,
sugar and eggs into a bowl and stir, arms aching.
See if you can count my ribs beneath this moss green sweater.
There are 24 of them – I know, I counted this morning
staring at the mirror mirage of my body in the quiet –
knees locked, mouth dry, eyes already casting stones.
Smell the turkey with me, but do not touch, do not taste.
The sage stuffing in the Dutch oven is nearly done, water
is boiling for green beans. Mash, pour, stir, cover, put in,
pull out – movement reminds me I’m still breathing.
I wish you could stop me in my kitchen orbit, hold me still
while the world swings around me. I wish we could break
bread together. But you have not heard my confession –
my sin is still buried in my stomach.
I would love to hear your reaction to this poem in the comments… How does this make you feel? Is this a topic you often see discussed openly these days?