Learning to live with the one body you’ve got

We’re on better terms
than all those years ago.
I fought you endlessly:
awkward, cussed, stupid
and badly put together,
I stared at you with hostile eyes.

Nothing was your size,
nothing would suit
this sulky girl
stalking along the road,
diligently bad since
good seemed out of reach.

We lived separately, each
shoving for space inside
an attic room, a single skull,
each intent on grabbing
all the other knew and
never learned to manage.

And partial scraps of knowledge
led to trouble – no stopping
once I knew the thrills
those bits of burst balloon
between my legs could mean:
secrets, sweetness, dangers.

Today no longer strangers,
I make an inventory
of every knock and scar.
They can’t be sanded down,
or like a punctured tyre
just glued and patched –

and worn and scratched
my mirrored self stares back.
We need each other:
we could live as friends.
If you’ll forgive me
I will make amends.

Beatrice Garland

Share this: