A Poem by Rosie Humphrey: Soul-ly Body

Rosie Humphrey’s free verse poem addresses the policing of women’s bodies.

I am not my body,
but I’m confused about the mind-body synergy,
knowing that at any moment, I could have it
taken away from me.

I am not my body,
or am I?
If it doesn’t belong to me,
does that mean it’s public property?
A government policy, welfare of the patriarchy.

I am not my body,
I say reassuringly,
scrunching and scrutinising the soft flesh that makes up me,
holding onto to self-worth that was misplaced,
withheld from me.

I may not be my body,
it’s not my one source of validity,
my social currency,
my most interesting art, or valuable asset,
the essence of my beauty.

I am the rightful owner of this body,
so why does it need to be valorised or criticised,
a forum of debate, a public body open for discussion.
You can’t pass a motion on my internal organs, so what gives you the right to license its exterior,
to the unwanted intruder,
yet criminalise my last lifeline.

I am my body,
but that doesn’t mean it’s more than me,
we exist together, a synergy.

Souly Body.png

Illustration by Dani Pollock. 

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