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Beyond the Looking Glass

(poem by Dina Z & a song with music by Carolyn McLanahan)


As a child I felt such hurt and shame

To survive I learned to play the game

Kept the secrets, learned to hide

Trapped inside.


Loathe the body I reflect

Shattered by the disconnect

Lie to myself that I am whole

Oh, the hunger in my soul.


Decorate the outer shell

And lock away the private hell.


Sculpted, carved, invincible.

Brittle, starved, invisible.

Fear every mirror I pass,

Can’t see beyond the looking glass


In a world that teaches that affection

Is reserved for those who reach perfection

It’s Mother Nature we reject

Destroy the figure we reflect.


Glorify the false ideal

Just click and drag away what’s real

Salvation from the surgeon’s knife

A pill to quell the thirst for life.


Alter our genetic fate

The silent cry of body-hate.


Sculpted, carved, invincible.

Brittle, starved, invisible.

Fear every mirror I pass,

Help me see beyond the looking glass.

Safer to be admired than loved

But you said I was good enough.

My shame could not imagine why.

Your love for me felt like a lie.


Alone so long, I feared your touch

Believing I might need too much.

Thought I was just a pretty face

But you said I should take up space!


Though scared to love, I made the choice.

You listened, so I found my Voice.

Through your eyes I now can see

And love the far-from-perfect me.


In your heart, I’m finally home

‘Cause I let myself be truly known.


I was

Sculpted, carved, invincible.

Brittle, starved, invisible.

Now I look into the mirror I pass,


And see beyond the looking glass.

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© 2020 Dr. Dina Zeckhausen