My body was a shape shifter

A cruel stranger that obscured, contorted and twisted

transforming from ghostly thin to suddenly twice the size

a wobbling mess of flesh

Hours upon hour spent gazing into unforgiving mirrors

Blotchy critical eyes, painting lines where I wish the scalpel would touch, bless

My body was a missed meal, a sick note, a constant reminder

A stomach squeezed in tight, blue-purple bruises on fat thighs

Tear-stained cheeks, gaunt, vomit-tainted fingers trembling

Now, warm, kind hands slowly trace my perfumed skin

Soft, soothing and loving

it’s me, my body becomes mine

A long-lost friend returning after years of waiting, of longing

A safe home

Cloaked in satin, silk, lace,

No longer concealed but an object of pride, of bravery

Each dimple, ripple, roll

A blessing, a story of survival

My survival


Words : Gemma Allison

Photo : Holly Haynes