This Body Is Not An Apology – Christine E. Ray

this body
cleverly constructed
of blood and bone
muscle and sinew
has not always been
my safe house
others did their best
to paint its innocence
shame red
self-hatred black
carved the words
Lolita
Whore
Bitch
under my skin
rendering this body
an iron maiden
a scold’s bridle
a tomb

this body
scaffolded on
an inheritance of madness
and misfiring neurons
has been brought
to the knees
by emotional
and physical pain
this body
ever-changing
has not always
been my ally
a friend
at times
an enigma
a stranger
an enemy

this body
keeper of my soul
my essence
weathered my past
survived being
carved hollow by loss
this body
has bled crimson
cried oceans
howled with rage
embraced lovers
birthed babies
rejected expectations
of what a woman should be
could be
has dreamed universes
yet to be discovered
within me

this body
my body
that I continue to broker
peace with
that I have learned to respect
if not always cherish
has protected me
through five decades
vulnerable child
headstrong, obstinate teen
mother
survivor
fierce warrior woman
but this body
my body
will never be an apology

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

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