Write…Edit…Publish post on the third Wednesday of every second month and the challenges are open to all. To join in, you submit your name to the list, write an entry for the prompt (1000 words or less) and edit it. Then on the date given, you publish it to your blog, stating your feedback preferences. You can also read and leave comments on the other entries and share the challenge far and wide on social media. Find out more about this year’s challenges here.
The prompt for this challenge was the title of a song by The Beatles: “All You Need is Love”, which we could interpret however we liked.
About my Entry
It’s been a while since I joined in with the WEP challenge but I really want to get back into the habit. This piece was originally going to be prose but somehow it kept wanting to turn itself into a poem. I’m not really a poet so the structure and rhythm could probably use some work, and I know the rhyme is tenous in some places. But I think it conveys the message I had in mind.
Word count: 292
Tagline: Is unconditional love for our children all we need to be a good parent?
Content warnings: Negative body image, anxiety.
Critique preference: FCA
All You Need is (Self) Love
Scrutinizing my reflection,
Noting flaws in my complexion,
Counting the qualities I lack.
Who is that woman staring back?
Limp curls that long lost their lustre,
Combed with strength I barely muster,
Sticky with jam, a matted mess,
Shedding in the shower…from stress?
A forehead furrowed with concern,
Drowsy, dreams yearning to return,
Pressed against yours amidst the din,
Weathering the tempest within.
Zombie eyes, sunken in shadow,
Yet, as you bloom they are aglow,
Sharp ears, haunted by phantom cries,
Delighting in your songs and sighs.
My squishy nose, mum’s gift (or curse),
Assaulted by sick and…much worse.
Lips that kiss away hurt inside,
Nibbled raw yet smiling with pride.
Neck stiff from arms that hang too tight,
Aching arms that held you all night,
My back bears all, creaking and sore,
As I scoop Lego from the floor.
Breasts, once pleasantly round, now sag,
My belly a jelly-filled bag,
Which nourished and comforted you,
Gave you a warm home as you grew.
Hands that craft urgent works of art,
Hold tight through jabs and broken hearts,
Hands that wash, dry, mend and repeat,
Cooking meals you refuse to eat.
Tree-trunk thighs that rub and jiggle,
Good for bouncing as you giggle,
Hairy, white legs with knees red raw,
From kneeling on your bedroom floor.
Feet blistered from roaming the zoo,
Hidden parts of me aching too:
Stomach empty and acidic,
My own mind my harshest critic.
Through all this, what keeps me going?
My heart, with love overflowing.
I once thought that is all you need,
But now the truth I must concede.
I need to take care of myself,
Not sacrifice my joy and health,
I’m learning what I need to do,
To love myself as I love you.
I hope you enjoyed my poem. I’d love to hear your thoughts and constructive feedback in the comments below.