The Weight of Her Words: “Anorexia” and “Bulimia”

I thought I’d begin this poem series with the way I began. These two, short poems were the first I wrote in my first poem collection Whispers; they were also the first poems I ever showed anyone. Written at age 15, here are “Anorexia” and “Bulimia.”

11/13/99

 

Anorexia

 

Ice and bones fracture similarly

One heals once broken/ cracks melt against memory

 

Simple, cold wet drops remain

As tears of a child’s forgotten pain

 

Shivering, quivering on the edge of a lid

Eyes and thoughts close, as lips forbid

 

Broken, in silence, this child will forgive

But melt to her bones, in order to live

 

© Sarah Henderson 1999

 

 

11/13/99

 

Bulimia

 

Safety and harm exist as one here

The shallow you seek brings depth to fear

 

It’s a hell you built with knowing hands

You built it by breaking your body’s demands

 

Filling only to empty the flesh that burns hot

This pre-woven tale ties a satisfied knot

 

In a life so diseased that death is a cure

Blood and acid make water pure

 

You shudder from truth, so blindingly bright

When you know it’s deserved, hell will feel right

 

 

© Sarah Henderson 1999

 

 

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About writingforrecovery

Sarah is a writer and poet who speaks out about issues that make people uncomfortable. Sarah advocates for causes such a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness, and often speaks openly about her own experiences. She is determined to abolish the stigma associated with these issues and believes that it starts with people telling their stories, so she started a blog called Writing for Recovery where people can do just that. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and is currently at work on her fourth. She is convinced that there's a novel somewhere in her, and occasionally picks at the chapters so far. View all posts by writingforrecovery

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