“Who told you it is not okay to grow
as you did as a child, like a tree
taller and taller?
You convinced yourself to stop,
to stay thin
like a small child
even when your stomach grumbles
like wind through a mountain,
shrinking and straining and starving
for someone else’s idea of perfect?
But every tree gains leaves
and rings, symbolizing age,
and the growth
of a great being.
Who told you to feel heavy
when your breasts accept gravity
and when your skin makes marks on itself
to adjust to you?
Who told you it was a sin
to be big,
and why did we give all this
unearned power to them?
You are a tree,
your leaves and rings
no matter what anyone else says.”
~ Colleen Michele
(artwork by Natasha Szymkiewicz, produced for The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt ‘Love Your Tree’ Campaign, 2013)