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.
This poem is closely related to A beautiful body