“They will always be small.”

My mother’s reflection talks

To mine in the mirror, 

Both of us staring at glass

Instead of looking at each other.


Our attention rests upon

The two tiny mounds 

More pointy than round on my chest,

Fat cells that began clumping

In my body not too long ago.


They lift my shirt

Awkwardly over their shape,

Making me look more

Like a deformed boy

Than a girl becoming a woman.


A training bra

Holds them in place,

Getting my body used to the feeling

Of keeping things

Hidden and restrained.


Hers, both bulging

Out of her top,

Are inflated with saline

And big enough to make

Her back bend forward.


“I didn’t need them

Until I met your Dad,”

She says, her way of

Assuring me that

I am safe for now.


One would go on

To spring a leak,

While another would

Wiggle free from muscle,

Requiring two more surgeries.


Months of healing

Meant pain before beauty,

Keeping me and the rest of us 

From hugging our mom

As tightly as we could.


She moaned and ached,

Waiting while her body 

Learned to accept

Foreign objects

As missing parts of her. 


But wounds closed up,

And dad would fawn

Over the results, 

Glancing downward

More than at her eyes.


“I’ll help you pay for it,” 

She soothes,

As is if it is 

A necessity

Instead of a choice.


Magazine covers

And Victoria’s Secret ads

All told the same story,

Pushing them to perfect heights

Mine couldn’t live up to.


There had to be something

That could be done,

Something I could do

To make them be

What they should.


So I rubbed them in circles 

While I showered,

Praying to God

That He would just

Make them bigger.


Pills online promised

To do it “naturally”

But with an expensive price tag,

Possible side effects,

And no guarantee.


“It’s not wrong to get them done,” 

She urges,

Examining my now

Fully matured adult body

That only boasts A cups.


And she could be right.

These lumps of tissue

Are somehow beautiful.

Mammary glands 

That signify femininity.


They can give back

What was stolen

Through disease or trauma,

Making the loss

More bearable to some.


For others, they offer

Confidence, and that’s ok,

Because they help her look

The way she sees herself,

And that is her decision.


But don’t tell me

That just because mine

Don’t fill fabric

The way others might means

They are not enough.


“It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

It shouldn’t have to be, Mom.

But the very act would mean

Admitting to myself

That beauty is objective.


That the set standard

Influenced by an industry

Which pays women for bodies

More toy-like than alive

Should be what I aim for. 


That I should suffer

To change a part 

Of myself,

Not because I want to,

But because I have to.


My mouth can speak,

My legs can move.

I can taste, smell,

Hear and see my life

Because my body is able.


It doesn’t need anything

Added on to make someone 

Accept and love it

The way I should

And am learning to.


“They will always be small.”

Small, like the kisses

My husband plants

On my forehead

When I am crying.


Small, like the baby

I was years ago

That was fed

While my mother held me

Close to her heart.


Small, like the children

I hope to have someday,

Whose size I plan to cherish

While it allows me

To keep them in my arms.


Yes, they will always be small,

Because they don’t need

To be any bigger

To make me the woman

I am supposed to be.



you go girl! I wish everyone could find the confidence that you have. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in what everyone else wants and what we're supposed to be, we forget who we are in the whirlwind of expectations that surround us.

 thank you for expressing this in a beautiful way that sensibly deals with a very serious and sensitive issue. :) 

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