The Girl She Was. {poetry}

She cried rivers

and almost drowned the whole world

that girl

the ache, her ache, swallowed everything around her

including her children

her poor little children.

This is the story of a girl

consumed by her own appearance, and what she appeared to be

a girl

who could not walk past a mirror, with any resistance

not because she wanted to gaze at herself

but instead to seek proof of her own existence

that girl

was looking for proof that she was alive in the world

And sometimes, when she cried, when she cried rivers,

she watched herself cry

because she needed to witness herself feeling.

Feeling something

And that doesn’t make any sense to you, I know it doesn’t

but it’s okay

And, just to be clear, she was an ugly crier. She cried ugly, sad thing.

But it’s true, it’s the true story of a girl

who looked and saw only flaws

the scar below her eye, the lines around her lips

the heaviness of her hips

she looked and found sins, mistakes

she saw the damage that bore the holes inside

and her eyes

those deep wells of caustic muck

dull, lifeless, fuzzy, fake

scattered debris in perils’ wake

her eyes, starving for light, scrutinizing,

just needed a damn break!

But her mystery lay stored and obscured beneath

To get to it

She had to dive deep

And she did

She did it without breathing for a while.

Below the surface of those pools, treading heavy truths, even heavier fears

She found no mask or thin disguise

worth keeping after all these years

She came up empty-handed, but free


And to stay that way she chooses to remember the pain,

her pain, and the pain inflicted upon others,

the cold shoulders given, her selfish druthers

her kids, shut out and told to go play

while she wallowed in the decisions, and the choices of her day

her clothing, too tight, too baggy, too wrong

her hair, too stringy, too dry, too long.

her whole life she told herself how to look, and how to act

she filled her own head with all she lacked

When what she surely lacked

was retrospect, a clear picture of her own true self

her own wisdom, without disparity

she lacked a way

to think about her life with serene clarity

what she lacked was insight into her emotions

and the ability to shrug off erroneous notions

what she lacked was not what to think but rather how to think

for her self, and by her self, and to her self, and with her self

And when she finally had enough,

she cried a river, and almost drowned the whole world,

the whole world around her,

But those who loved her,

swam along with her,

and she survived because of them… because of them.

They know

They know

she is not defined by

the worst thing she’s ever done… to herself,

the worst thing she’s ever said… to herself,

the worst thing she’s ever thought… about herself,

or what she sees when she looks in the mirror,

and she —

she is more than her past

She has told you some of it,

Some of her story,

She’s finding ways to tell you

To share more of it

If it helps you,

it helps her too,


You know who she is now

And who she was

Before she nearly died

from choking on her regrets

Her throat, her sore throat, has been through so much

But when she speaks now

It’s clear

it’s so easy to hear

her true voice rings

No drowning,

No raging river of tears

that dragged her under

for so many years

those years when she told herself that her worth

was in her smile, in her skin, in her body, in her eyes

masking her need, spitting out lies

You think you understand

But you don’t

And that’s okay


She barely does

she barely does

But it’s who she was

She was

She was.


KimberlyValzaniaKimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She feels creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinion on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. She believes that life is indeed a journey, and that precious moments appear (like magic) when you surrender, hold hands, and fling yourself into the great, wide, open.


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