POEM: Man-sized?


This morning with some relish
I dished the portion labelled ‘man-size’ from my regular bowl of cereal,
Tired of a world that would keep
Me smaller
And men bigger.
I ate each mouthful without difficulty.

I knew a woman once
Who said she ate to grow bigger and protect herself
From the looks of passersby.
Fat was her invisibility cloak.
She grew so big trying to shield herself from their gazes
Whispers, Whistles, Kisses
That she lost sight of herself.
It took the love of someone
And nearly three decades
To confront her hunger.

I knew another who monitored her meals.
Each passing of a mouthful
Through her disobedient lips
Starved her of a sense of success.
Her best days were hungry.
Her hair thinned on her scalp, thickened on her arms.
It took her many years
To stop seeing every meal
As a mathematical equation of her failings
In calorific tallies.

My man-sized, extra 15 grams of food,
Didn’t make me grow balls, or start a revolution.
I didn’t feel anything like a man, thankfully.

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