This poem stems from many different things. The image of a tree comes from a beautiful book written by Eve Ensler, The Good Body. I have also been fortunate to have had some fantastic conversations with the women of my SA-YAGM group about freedom, identity, empowerment, and being a woman. This poem was written during some down time at our last retreat and stemmed from thoughts about who is free, how do you get freedom, and what does that look like.
I think I am beautiful.
My legs are my favorite. They are strong, curved, muscular, long, toned, squishy, hairy, smooth, flexible. I want to strut some days. I want to look at my legs and show them off in all their beauty.
Rarely am I in a setting where I feel comfortable to do that.
People will see my body and criticize and judge. Women will think I am trying to ‘get some.’ People will think I am not modest. Heads will turn as my white legs stand out. Men will whistle and stare, approach and comment.
My legs become objects. Things I have to hide.
I wish to stand like a tree, tall, sturdy, full of confidence, pride, and love. To have people look at me and love me as a tree, for what I am. They will see me in all my fullness, a bulging knot on my trunk, a branch that seems to be misplaced, slightly tilted to the left. But they will look on at the uniqueness and completeness of me. Still viewing just a tree. I am not defined by my parts. Nor do people think I am less of a tree because my bark is chipped and part of my root sticks out of the ground.
I am whole.