japonisme: The Hymn of a Fat Woman

19 April 2008

The Hymn of a Fat Woman

All of the saints starved themselves.
Not a single fat one.
The words “deity” and “diet” must have come from the same
Latin root.

Those saints must have been thin as knucklebones
or shards of stained
glass or Christ carved
on his cross.

as pew seats. Brittle
as hair shirts. Women
made from bone, like the ribs that protrude from his wasted
wooden chest. Women consumed
by fervor.

They must have been able to walk three or four abreast
down that straight and oh-so-narrow path.
They must have slipped with ease through the eye
of the needle, leaving the weighty
camels stranded at the city gate.

Within that spare city’s walls,
I do not think I would find anyone like me.

I imagine I will find my kind outside
lolling in the garden
munching on the apples.

© 2008 Joyce Huff

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Blogger Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

THis is so beautiful. The photos and your prose. Do you know who I pity? The little children who's mothers are thin as rails...for these tots do not know the bliss it is to be cradled, held, and rocked in the arms and laps of comforting, cushioning, mom. Mom should be soft and rounded and reassuring to cling to in a sometimes bewildering or hurtful world.


20 April, 2008 08:44  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

what an interesting perspective, lavinia. it reminds me of harry harlow and his cloth monkey mothers.

sadly, though, i think many mothers are more likely to have inherited their body-hatred from their own mothers, and try to pass it along.

20 April, 2008 09:45  
Blogger Lavinia Ladyslipper said...


It's something we mothers have to be vigilant about. Our careless comments about our bodies are hugely influential to our young daughters.


22 April, 2008 18:05  
Blogger lotusgreen said...


23 April, 2008 08:00  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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