I no longer believe love is a battlefield. Rather,
I regard my defective body in that manner.

Adolescence, I raged against the inconstancy,
the inconvenience of irregular menstruation.

I did not embrace my body; I felt too-much,
womanly curves an awkward impediment.

I was stuck, in the mud of myself, like
quicksand, soft and yielding easily to pressure.

In my 20s, I did not notice the depth of my despair,
how much I wanted options and freedom of choice.

The ability to decide, for myself, if I would have
or have not a husband, children, the whole shebang.

These were the reasons I agreed to multiple surgeries,
largely unaware of hidden self-loathing and desire.

In my 30s, I gained no more appreciation of
endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The medical treatments seem a fairytale,
a Grimm one, like the girl with no hands.

Such poking, prodding and laser precision,
yet I felt beside myself, untethered, unhinged.

I often felt dismembered, rage-red over
bulging blue-veins and stretch marks.

Terrible tendrils over a stomach bursting with
its body’s betrayal, unable to contain the chaos.

Until I found my love, my one, who treasures me,
not as a consolation prize, but with all my flaws.

No longer do I feel a mourning song in my bones,
because true love lengthens my spine, raises my head.

Together, we face the future with a clear-eyed focus.
Even if dragons, ravens, snakes and wolves interfere…

I can calmly retort to any predators
Our love is not a battlefield.

With healing hope I have a new mantra
My body is not a battlefield.

The battle for us all, is to look within and find
ourselves, home, comfortable in our skin.

This journey has taken me from the battlefield
to somewhere euphoric and real.

It is how a woman can shape-change,
whether petite or large, to chase her dreams.

Finding courage, just like in fairytale books,
and choosing character, rather than good looks.

Such searches can seem like a battlefield,
fighting crones, lunatics, or royalty.

There is just one more battle I perceive, it is in
the letting go, acceptance, I am happy to be me.

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This poem is closely related to A beautiful body


beauty, beautiful, body, self, battlefield, love, pcos, endometriosis, surgery, children, shape, esteem, self esteem

I’ll defer to Anna Quindlen, of The New York Times: “People who are knowledgeable about poetry sometimes discuss it in that knowing, rather hateful way in which oenophiles talk about wine: robust, delicate, muscular. This has nothing to do with how most of us experience it, the heart coming around the corner and unexpectedly running into the mind. Of all the words that have stuck to the ribs of my soul, poetry has been the most filling.”

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  • Ushna Sardar
    Ushna Sardarover 2 years ago

  • Thanks ushna and CORE xxx

    – msdebbie

  • sandra .
    sandra .over 2 years ago

    “Until I found my love, my one, who treasures me,
    not as a consolation prize, but with all my flaws.”
    And to find/connect with that one, maybe not to complete you, but more to complement you, must be wonderful…sounds like you are ‘home’ Deb
    Much love and the odd smooch to you lovely lady
    Sandra xx

  • Thank you Sandra, yes, I do feel homecoming with my Paul. I first touched upon this in my sap-fest “Sincerely Forevermore”: with the line You are home to me
    But my critique is only humour; it has been a revelation to me discovering romantic love in the way I believe it should be felt. I feel that connection as complement, like you say. Miss cuddling up to you at RR though! Has been so so long.
    Smooches right back my dear friend xx – msdebbie

    – msdebbie

  • This is being published in a poetry anthology Sandra, yay

    – msdebbie

  • AnLile
    AnLileover 2 years ago

    I echo sandra ellen. Thank you for sharing. xox

  • Thanks very much AnLife! Appreciate your kind comment x

    – msdebbie

  • kenroome
    kenroomeover 2 years ago

    “no longer do I feel a mourning song in my bones
    because true love lengthens my spine, raises my head”
    this whole poem so full of wisdom and true won feelings.

  • Thanks Ken. One of my friends calls these type of poems a bodyscape poem and I tend to agree. All the lines, wrinkles, battles and bruises of self make us who we are!

    – msdebbie

  • Lisa  Jewell
    Lisa Jewellover 2 years ago

    Bloomin brilliant Darling Deb XX
    makes me sing out loud
    you are a beautiful woman

    I am sorry you’ve had to contend with so much
    much love to you,
    always xoxox

  • Oh Lisa, it was not too much (just what it was). I adore your lovely comments sweetheart. And the interesting thing, I really have reached a place of acceptance/homecoming, my problems with relationships in my 20s were largely borne of the idea that the men who were most drawn to me were seeking only a mother-figure, not me for me, which is what we need to feel loved unequivocally. I have so many wonderful children in my life (nieces/newphews/children of special friends) that I feel so blessed. I’m one of my few friends actually looking forward to turning 40 in 2015 – just cannot wait to see what each new decade brings. Love you too, my forever friend xxx

    – msdebbie

  • LauraBroussard
    LauraBroussardover 2 years ago

    Msdebbie, you speak so much truth, and, that is only one of the beautiful things about you !!!
    Fave !!!

  • Thanks Laura, much appreciated xxx

    – msdebbie

  • Anthea  Slade
    Anthea Sladeover 2 years ago

    Oh wow Deb this is an absolute masterpiece! I am blown away by this magnificent write. So many lines profound living openness, so much love, so much acceptance, so much truth. I am deeply profoundly moved by this most beautiful poem and I must go and read again and again. Thanks for sharing beautiful Deb.

    _Until I found my love, my one, who treasures me,
    not as a consolation prize, but with all my flaws.

    No longer do I feel a mourning song in my bones,
    because true love lengthens my spine, raises my head._

  • Thanks Anth! I knew your beautiful, romantic heart would enjoy this one xxx

    – msdebbie

  • Guendalyn
    Guendalynover 2 years ago

    fantastic words!

  • Thanks so much Guendalyn :D

    – msdebbie

  • Cosimo Piro
    Cosimo Piroover 2 years ago

    wonderful write Deb… to feel comfortable within oneself after coming to terms with the growing pains that many of us feel and eventually accept and be accepted for who you are is a blessing. To have that special person walk along side you on that journey makes it a special exploration. Full of growth and promise and positive outlook, Deb… lovely thoughts and feelings shared. xoxo

  • Hello dear Cos. Yes, I totally agree with you. Hope the weekend writers meet was a joy also xxx

    – msdebbie

  • Donna Keevers Driver
    Donna Keevers ...over 2 years ago

    Brilliant. :) Very clever and so well written!

  • Thanks so much Donna xxx

    – msdebbie

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