Three poems by Wam Xotongo

Rhodes University student Wam Xotongo shares three of her poems.

Dear body

I may not tell you everyday

But you are beautiful, you are enough, and I am happy to be living in you.

Yes, I look in the mirror and sometimes instead of admiring the work of art that you are, all I see are flaws…

I take a red pen and with each thought I scar you, I point at the spots on my face, the size of my thighs, my belly and stare at my boobs, which society has led me to believe are imperfect…

However, what I fail to realize is that if I had you the way I wanted then I would look like everyone else. My so called “flaws” are what make me unique and before society and the media led me into believing that only certain bodies are acceptable, I saw no flaw in you.

I guess, I don’t hate you, in fact I love you, it’s just that I’ve allowed external forces to influence my views on you.

If I hated you, I wouldn’t put so much effort in taking care of you.

Every day, I brush my teeth, I take a bath and pick an outfit for the day.

Now these may seem like simple things I have to do but you don’t have to do anything in life. You choose to do it.

Imagine if I was not told that plump perky breasts were a sign of purity and youth and that saggy breasts represent old tired bodies. Would I see my boobs the way I do?

Truth is I thought you were perfectly fine until I allowed everyone’s opinions to come between us…

Therefore, I do not need to learn to love you because I already do, I just need to erase the toxic opinions of others on what the “perfect” you (body) is.

Beautiful flower

I always wondered where your strength came from

You’ve survived thunderstorms and heavy rains,

Severe heat and wild winds

You stood your ground through hail storms and unwelcome droughts…

Oh, beautiful flower how I wish this was the case, for every trial you went through weakened your once strong stem,

Browned your once green leaves and your beautiful petals withered away…

My heart

My heart like a volcano about to erupt,

Burns

It burns on the inside

It yearns to be put out

It yearns for your attention,

Your affection

Yet, when showered with all of this…

It can never return the favor

Like a volcano it overflows with fire, burning through my chest,

It leaves nothing but dark cold ash

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