My Beautiful Body

by Mary MacGowan
The Waters
First Place, February 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry

My beautiful body, I’m so sorry.
You were starved, befriended wrong
people, ate badly, drank too much.
And for petty thoughts I am
ashamed. Who’s fatskinnydumb-
smart. On the way down
does everyone feel the same
regardless of why the fall –
pushed, accidental, suicide?
And what to knit with all my spare
time? Yards & skeins of it.
A sweater, maybe a scarf.
Stop. You’re making me laugh.
I bought myself flowers,
gave blood. Today ran away
with me. I’m late.

Blunt and fearless but also well-crafted, with a tight meter and an economical use of tough language. --R.T. Castleberry