Check-in time before the mirror,
wary eyes peering out in familiar
critique of imperfections tallied with care.
Misshapen breasts that look nothing like the models’, nearly bare
in glossy magazines,
selling products to bolster self-esteem.
Stomach still soft despite innumerable exercise,
vowing to do more as per her usual prize.
If they can do it, then too can she.
Flabby thighs refusing banishment but she will be freed.
Misunderstood and ridiculed by others unable to see.
The mirror never deceives, having no stake in the truth to referee.
Why can’t they just let her be?!
Friends and family thinking they know better.
Forcing her to retreat further.
Hunger her most esteemed
escape from well meaning sighs.
Food the sacrificial enemy to be fought with conviction.
Good intentions swept away by disillusion
in a sea of dissolution.
Recalling a past without constant calculations.
The present filled with isolation.
Hiding behind conformity’s guise,
slowly losing its sheen.
Affinity for perfection taking over.
An endless pursuit precluding the desire –
Why bother, having discovered a place whereby
life is far from fair.
Happiness stranded in a bid to tranquilize
her reflection held captive inside the mirror’s glare.
© 2016 Brenda Baker