I would like to forgive my body

if only I knew how.

Perhaps I should write a list

of everything I dislike

and light it with a match;

watch it smoulder with eager eyes

and a glass of wine.

Or I should write a list

of my favourite parts

and scrawl them across every mirror.


I worry the first list

would be too long,

and the second, too short.

I worry thinking about my body

as if it is a separate entity

living in a world of acceptance

I cannot touch,

only makes it worse.


I have equipped myself

with a magnifying glass

to examine every stretch mark,

freckle and vein.

I forget to thank my body

for growing and changing;

livid lines of time.

I forget to thank each freckle,

join them dot to dot

and appreciate the constellations

written into my skin.

I forget to thank the rivulets of blood

running down well-trodden paths

to service my heart and whole;

even on the mornings

I vowed never to see.


I would like to forgive my body

for being soft, squishy,

too skinny or undefined,

for keeping my heart in a cage,

for desiring sleep

and balanced meals.


Reading this open letter

to my bones and organs

it seems I’ve approached

forgiveness all wrong.

My body is the victim

and I am the predator

with a food chain of one.

I need to begin again,

cross out every line

and ask for permission.


I would like to ask myself

to forgive and forget

all of the things

I have and haven’t done,

for all of the times

I’ve believed I am not

good enough.


© Kristiana Reed 2019

12 thoughts on “Forgiveness

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