Marked (Anonymous)

I wrote this poem after one of my best friends and I had a long conversation about our stretch marks and how difficult it was to accept them. It was published in Motherverse magazine. I love this site! love our mamabodies!


my new lover traces my lines, my road map…my history, and at the same time my path to the future
he is gentle
with my first the marks came late i didn’t want any i rubbed my belly with oil, vain…hoping to pacify her
sweet baby curled inside
when they came they looked like flames curling lips of fire low on my belly
and later i liked them, because they reminded me of her
my second daughter stretched me out earlier and more
the flames licked my belly button and then rose up, not symmetrical, like smoke curling away from a lone campfire like incense lit in sacred space
they spread out, gullies, rivulets running down my hips waterfalls to remind me that nothing will ever be the same
these, from her, i cannot hide. i want to. Part of me feels embarrassed until i realize that i cannot love you unless i love myself
these are from my moon baby i say
I couldn’t love myself without them
sometimes they remind me of snakes
my daughter lays her smooth cheek on my belly and laughs
she too is drawn to them she traces smoky lines with her fingers digging deep
let’s walk to georgia mama she says and I say OK
she is wild she wants to paint her hands and feet we do it together then i lie down and we color in my marks…red for the fire the love that burns between us
the passion that
marked our relationship before our eyes had even met
blue for the water our share of tears and all we will learn from each other
green for the earth
mark my body green! as sacred yes i too have brought forth life
we leave some silvery white, for Air she says, Air I breathed when we first disconnected
her sister toddles over, places her pudgy hand in the middle of my belly and laughs and spits
they have both marked me both in different ways
and i know i look like the Goddess of Changes
you did this i say and you…this was you here and here and here
I did that one mama she says
I was writing on the inside, writing my love for you
Hoping you would notice
hoping you could read my script
I couldn’t wait to touch you

8 thoughts on “Marked (Anonymous)

  • Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Wow! That was beautiful. That last vs brought tears to my eyes… I was writing from the inside… Thank you for sharing your lovely poem!

  • Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Wow! I don’t know you, but I love you for that poem. Thank you so much! I will try to think of it everytime I look in the mirror.

  • Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    The last line brought tears to my eyes, too. Beautiful.

  • Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Wow, I just wanted to say that this is such a powerful poem. My daughter is asleep in her crib, and I had to go and look at her for awhile after I read it. I wanted to pick her up and hold her and tell her that she is worth it all, worth all of my insecurities and occasional feelings of shame and self-loathing for this body that created her. Life is short. We need to love ourselves to be able to live our lives as fully as we can. I love the last line– it breaks my heart. I also love the line: “Part of me feels embarrassed until i realize that i cannot love you unless i love myself.” It is so true. We must love ourselves to love everyone else in our lives as much as we can. I want my daughter to grow up loving her body and it worries me so much to think about what kind of world we live in where we value thinness and artificiality so much. I don’t want her to feel the kinds of pressures that I feel. Let’s pray for a brighter world for our daughters. Thanks for your beautiful poem.

  • Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    thank you. that last verse…wow.

  • Monday, February 9, 2009 at 8:20 am

    wow, what a beautiful poem! thank you so much for posting this.

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  • Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Dear anonymous writer, I fell in love with this! I am filming a short film on the topic right now and would love to include your poem. would you mind? I would also love to give you credit, if you contact me :) love, Cathi

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