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Julie Feb 20
Your belly
Next to mine
Smooth and soft
It subtly moves
As I gently touch it
Caress it
With tender admiration
Innocent and sweet
I listen to them
Rejoice at the sight
Of it ever so slightly
flowing over the seam

My belly
Next to yours
I cringe, look away
Try to hide it
As it’s flawed
It’s Not flat,
Not nonexistent
I’m afraid
Of what they’ll say
Should they catch
A glimpse
Of its imperfections

Yet without mine
There’d be no yours
It’s my womb
That carried you
It gave you shelter
And protection
A space to ripen and prepare
It’s my belly
That gave life to you
And still I reprimand it
Demand that it be
What is expected
Julie Feb 20
This tightness in my chest
I can barely explain
A closing in
A bursting open
Fear of not being enough
Or maybe too much
Paralleled by insurmountable
Love
A love that takes my breath away
A love I never knew before
A love that gives me hope
And happiness
And confidence
A love that lets me forget
I lose myself, floating softly
Amidst clouds of warmth and joy
Pride and serenity
When suddenly my chest —
How could I’ve let go
Even just for a moment
Thinking this bliss could exist
Without the ever-looming
Doubt that laces a mother’s mind
Julie Sep 2020
We were best friends.
Lovers to be exact.
I trusted you,
You carried me,
We shared our life in unity.
Until one day they told me
You were failing me.
You weren’t good enough,
Were flawed.
Rather than staying by your side,
Standing up for you,
Defending our truth,
I let them dictate our fate.

You became the enemy.
A war ensued.
I raged against you frantically.

Now here we are,
Decades later.
The damage is immense.
Mounds of shattered memories,
Broken kinship,
Crippled happiness.
A life of hatred and of pain.

Yet you did not combat me.
You rose above the torture and disdain.
You chose to be my soldier,
Be my armor,
Be my base.
You waged this war beside me,
As the fiercest shield of all.
A shield of unwavering,
irrefutable,
Unconditional love

So who’s the one who failed the other here?
Julie Sep 2020
As I stand,
Starring at my own reflection,
I peel back layers.
Layers of lies, deceit, manipulation;
Layers of empty promises and half hearted attempts.
Layers of misguided hope and hollow happiness,
Layers of shallow expectations.
What’s left is the ugly truth.  
A story of abuse
In which I am the victim
And the villain.
Julie Sep 2020
Paralyzed.
Frightened.
I’ve lost connection to myself.
Yes, I function. But just barely.
I function to survive.
It’s consuming.
It consumes me
every minute of the day.  
So much it has me drifting,
drifting long and far away.
My shell remains a presence;
yet it’s vacant, barely there.
While it holds a place amongst us,
it’s a space that can’t be filled.
Because she’s been forgotten.
Forgotten by myself.
Just a faint and faded memory
of a girl who once was bold.
Of a bright and beaming spirit
that was strangled into silence.
What’s left over is a shadow;
a flickering candle in the wind.
A soul that wants survival
but lacks trust in her instincts.
Because society was certain
she wouldn’t know what would be best
to keep that fire burning
in the middle of her chest.
Realization hits me.
I can see through all the smoke.
Those efforts weren’t noble.
They were self-serving to invoke
a tortured lone existence,
void of passion, void of love,
to keep her flames from growing,
from embracing all the space
that was all along intended
for her to illuminate.
What’s left behind are remnants
of a life that wasn’t lived;
of a soul that’s long been dormant,
meekly waiting to be saved.
And although it still is weakened,
scared, and weary of its might,
it’s now ready to be wakened;
eager to return to life.
Like a Phoenix from the ashes,  
be prepared for her to rise.

— The End —