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Body Image

By Melissa Young

Almost naked,
she stands before the full-length mirror,
loving her reflection.

Three years old, still baby soft.
“Look, Mom,” she says,
bending backward,
her round belly protruding.
“I’m so big!”

Yes, you are, I say,
and ache,
knowing the day will come
when her view of what is
beautiful
will change,
and she will no longer see it
in herself.

How I wish I could capture
the adoration I see now—
pour it over her head
when the mirror seems to only speak
her flaws,
let it run warm over her senses,
infuse her with
the joy of living,
an awe of mortal flesh,
the miracle of touch and breath,
heat and thorns,

That she could always be
as a little child,
and never wish for
wasting over health,
flatness over curves,
bones over flesh,

That she might be as she is now
with her belly out, smiling,
delighting in fatness.

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About Melissa Young

(Emerita) is a native of Utah and lives in Cache Valley, Utah, with her husband and three of her four children in their emptying nest. She has an MA in TESOL from Brigham Young University and currently volunteers with the English Learning Center.

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