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.”





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







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




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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