I used to think,

hope, really, 

that somehow, 

if I prayed hard enough

God would magically transform me

as I slept 

into a beautiful,

teenage girl version of Barbie 

I would be tall, but not too tall,

skinny, but still have boobs – guys like boobs,

I’d have some curves, but not too much,

I’d have a pert nose, but not so cute that it wasn’t beautiful,

Memorable eyes for looking deep into – blue or green or

maybe pansy purple like Liz Taylor’s,

and my hair – blonde, naturally,

long, thick, straight with just the right wave to make it swing

when I walked or put it into a ponytail

And this magical transformation

from ugly duckling to swan

would make me say the right things,

be funny, smart, athletic,

popular – 

and boys would like me, love me

like they did my friends…

Maybe I’d like me, too

But, there was never a new body assembled overnight


it has taken 44 years to assemble

the Self to know that

this body

this hair

these eyes,

are worthy of liking, loving, and more

It may not be athletic or magazine worthy,

but it has brought me forward for 44 years, 

through disappointment, assault, rape, marriage, divorce, 

jobs, moves, college degrees,

bankruptcy and back,

self-loathing and back,

suicidal attempts and back… 

I’m assembling my Self – 

one brick of awareness at a time

one I-beam of self-acceptance at a time

one shingle of self-love at a time

It’s an ongoing project

and that’s ok, too.


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