The Enemy 

The content within this poem addresses sensitive issues, including but not limiting to references of: eating disorders, negative body image and suicide

I move it round

and create a mound.

It watches me:

the enemy.


I pick it up and put it down;

it doesn’t make a single sound.

It stares at me:

the enemy.


It sees its friends come and go,

but, deliberately, it doesn’t show.

It pities me:

the enemy.


At it, I stab and pick,

I even give it a lick.

It tempts me:

the enemy.


I take a bite and spit it out;

dad glares at me, about to shout.

Mum stops him, but starts to cry,

then asks me, “why, oh why?”

It guilt-trips me:

the enemy.


I sit and wait; they sit and stare.

I rock, silently, on my chair.

I fiddle with my knife and fork;

they stare at me, like a hawk.

It exposes me:

the enemy.


Dad scrapes at his empty plate –

he really doesn’t want to wait.

I force myself to take a bite –

I’m too scared to put up a fight.

It frightens me:

the enemy.


They stare at me as I swallow,

Muttering that my cheeks look “hollow”.

Do they forget that I’m still here?

They do say I’m gonna “disappear”.

It’s eating me:

the enemy.


I finally push it out the way,

and save the rest for “another day”.

Dad tuts and shakes his head –

it’d be easier if I were dead.

It’s killing me:

the enemy.


Mum begs me to “have some more”,

but my jaw is now rather sore.

It hurts me:

the enemy.


I fill my mouth and chew some more,

say I must pee and head for the door.

Behind the door, I’m safe again,

the enemy has gone, but until when?

It follows me:

the enemy.


A year later and it’s still here,

but it is something I don’t fear.

I realised it was not to blame.

I realised others felt the same.

I realised it was nothing to shame.

It is me:

the enemy.

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