Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Sliding Scale

I wiggled and jiggled in
The small change room.
I cringe at my reflection.
Broad hips, narrow shoulders.
My body clearly taunting me.
‘Twould be funny.
If it weren’t so serious.
Feeling fury and disbelief,
I test the fabric’s strength.

I win the mission but not the war
As I free the garment from my body,
I hear the resounding RRRRIIIIIPPPP!
I gather up the pieces.
Lesson learnt.
Sometimes in life, we get away with it.
And sometimes we have to pay.
It’s a sliding scale.

(Lucky, this time it was dirt cheap.)

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: Upon first reading, it would seem this poem is about a mishap at a clothing store. Which is one interpretation should you choose to take it 😊. The metaphorical intent behind this free verse is to show the lengths we can go to in life to change, bend and mold ourselves to an ‘ideal’. Eventually it wears and tears and tests our strength. Some of use choosing to cast off the oppressive ‘second self’. Sometimes that price is high and we are left picking up pieces, other times, we can move on. Life’s sliding scale; a balancing act and struggle, but the self in some form, will always endure.

Prompts: Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #28 – Life Poetry Challenge – Write a poem in 20 lines or less about life; the ups and downs, the important things, what it means to live a good life.; and also, Daily Post Daily Prompt – Fabric; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix, Opposing Forces – 11 November 2017. Words: broad and narrow, funny and serious; and, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 325. Words: clear, taunting, body, fury, test, war, mission, lesson, slide, dirt, pay, disbelief.

15 thoughts on “Sliding Scale”

  1. Loved this poem. The first part resonated with me about the body ‘taunting me’. I still struggle with my body image at times and trying on clothes in a store can still be stressful, in terms of the ‘what if’ it doesn’t fit. I also liked your intended meaning of us trying to bend and mold to life. At certain times maybe that’s a good thing to do, and at others maybe we need to just accept who we are 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I too have struggled with both body image and also that feeling of ‘fitting in’. The older I’ve got, the more comfortable and laid back I’ve become about both and more readily ‘let it be’. Glad you enjoyed the poem 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I immediately thought those stupid gowns given at the doctor’s office. I’ve ripped my share of them. The message of how I do not conform to the ideal is a constant subliminal susurrus in my day-to-day life in more than clothing. Very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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