celebrating the body

[Here’s a recent poem from alumna, Ashley Burtch, in gratitude for her body:]

This body is not perfect.
She is marred with scars and stretch marks.
At times she creaks and groans.
I hide her from the lens of cameras and the eyes of others under layers of cloth    and shield.

This body is not perfect.
She is not as fast, as swift, as graceful.
At times she huffs and puffs.
I conceal her fatigue and weariness with silent gasps for air, for life.

And yet this body moves.
This body breathes and digests and regenerates.
She can run and play and jump.
She makes rhythm, song and dance.

This body tastes and hears and smells.
She feels my lover’s embrace.
These eyes see beauty.
These muscles and bones are strong and able.
These lungs take in air and give oxygen to this blood.
This heart circulates life to each cell.

This body is blessed with health.
She deserves love over judgement, movement over idleness, food over filler.
This body deserves kindness.
This body sustains Life.

– Ashley Burtch, from her blog, One Deep Breath

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