Body Wars

A poem by Louisa Rodriguez with art by Kai

Body Wars

I was at war with my body.

Started young,

Wasn’t as I was told it should be,

Teenager, changing body.

Purple lines appeared on my thighs,

Fat making home on my hips,

Taller than boys, 

Taking up space I felt I shouldn’t.

No femininity, clumsy girl.

Uncomfortable in my skin.

Too tall, “take off those heels”

Shoulders too broad, 

Thunderous thighs,

“Too loud, too much.”

“Big girl,”

“Too skinny.”

Mirror painful place.

Eat nothing,

Eat everything.

I started running, 

Turning 30, growing wiser.


More to my body than meets the eye,

Not for contorting to societal expectations.

My body ran mile after mile,

Reaching finish line after finish line

My feet ran through rivers, sand, trail and bog,

My legs climbed, hill, fell and mountain.

My legs danced all night from London to Panama,

My hands reached for boulders I scrambled,

My arms held those I love.

My eyes watched sunrises, sunsets, kindness of strangers, 

My ears listened to wisdom of elders, inspired by stories of many,

My mouth tasted culinary delights, spicy curries to decadent desserts,

These lips kissed . . . 

My body left me in awe.

Running mile after mile, lifting weight after weight,

Ascending mountain after mountain.

Body, I see you,

No more war.

My precious body, carrying me through life in all its beautiful, wonderous, adventurous glory.

Poem by Louisa Rodriguez Art by L @lambsonburn02