The Girl in the Shadow

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The girl in the shadow is not who I am.

She comes around to insult me after my bundle is birthed

and stalks in the shade, unwelcome.

She mocks me with her muffin pants and bubble shirts,

makes me do a daily double take in the mirror.

Makes me feel like froth and flab;

I don’t even know who she is.

She hates herself ‘cause the numbers don’t lie.

She tortures me and the numbers

become our worth.

I wage a constant battle to hide her bulk and bulge,

her battle scars and marks she bears of victory.

The voices of reason and deceit and chaos

tell me what I should be doing.

“Stop feeding her,” some say.

“Just embrace her and give in.  Love her,” say others.

The dialogue in my head tells me she’s not who I am,

But it’s hard to believe.

Hard to understand.

I don’t recognize the fat suit that entombs me.

It’s me in there but I’m trapped.

Trapped in the sagging boobs and deflated balloon of a belly.

Caged inside a body that isn’t mine;

one I woke up in and don’t want anyone to see.

I survive by disguise –

behind the babies and the bags and billowing blouses,

by avoiding the mirrors and the spotlight

and blaming the girl in the haze behind me

because she’s not who I am.


© 2013 Jesi Abernathy


Image courtesy of Dan/


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