Scale.

I know

a woman

round and

lush and

nurturing,

who fought

a war

with her body.

Believing

that

by becoming

less,

she would

become

more.

Reducing who she was

meal

by

meal

until her soul was

hollow

and still

the numbers

did not equate

with peace.

— Scale.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

I am no longer hungry for what you could not give.

I was left

with all these

holes

in the fabric of my

heart,

because

you

could not give

me,

what

you did not

possess.

But,

I nurtured them

in silence.

Filled them with beauty.

And see now,

flowers have grown

where there once

was

nothing.

— I am no longer hungry for what you could not give.

Loss, has made me fertile.

All

the things

that were

ripped

from my hands,

have found their way

back

to me.

As words.

— Loss, has made me fertile.

Purge.

…and i lost

the weight.

beautifully battle weary;

wearing hunger as my badge.

eviscerating my soul.

peeling back my skin,

layer by layer.

just to fit in.

…and i gained

the weight.

becoming fat with

failure.

and yet,

my breath did not end.

—purge.

Fat.

feel

the weight

of the word

in your mouth,

before you set it free

to cling to the skin

of another.

sometimes,

the smallest words

are the

heaviest

to carry.

—fat.

This poem is deeply personal.

Years ago I battled bulimia.

I have, ever since I can remember, been in a constant struggle to accept my body. Many of my poems reflect this, and the healing that I have since found, but the battle always rages within—anyone recovered from an eating disorder will tell you the same.

Today, I am deeply passionate about body-positivity and appreciating bodies of all sizes and shapes. I exercise because I love the feeling and I eat to be healthy.

My spirit was bent out of shape from the very first time I was called ‘fat’—I was about 5 years old, and that word followed me for most of my formative years.

When others stopped; I continued calling myself ‘fat’.

F a t.

It is such a small word, isn’t it? And yet, it is a heavy word to carry.

It marks you.

Leaves you standing there—naked under the scrutiny of the one who flung it your way.

I have so much to write on this topic. So, so much, but just for tonight—this—take care with this word. Feel its weight before you allow it to cling to the skin of another.

Or, yourself.

On feeding pain.

and what of

this hunger

that weeps

in my belly,

but lives in my

my soul.

it took me a lifetime

to realise that food

only quiets the ache;

never satisfies it.

—On feeding pain.

Not enough.

You say that I am nothing

special.

Not beautiful,

enough.

Not thin,

enough.

Not popular,

enough.

Not,

enough.

But,

see how I can turn

my pain

into flowers;

fragrant.

An offering

for all the others;

not enough.

—Not Enough.