Boarded up windows

Hollie Mcnish:

Live performance at The WOW Festival – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5kxtz9J2hw

WOW!
My body is amazing
I can almost hear her saying it
As she stands naked at the mirror
Hands clapping in applause to it
Naked, bold and proud
Her mouth open wide and round like
Wow
My body is amazing
She is one year’s old and loving it
Full belly sticking out, thighs like mini tyre towers
And when she looks at her reflection she always shouts out loud like
Wow.
This body is so great
Gazing down now
I try to do the same
Ignore the plastic advert spreads
That pass me on the way
I say ‘my body is amazing’
Despite what some might say
I say my body is amazing
Despite the claims you make.
The nip and tuck and cuts and sucks that fill my walk to work each day
Enhancement ads and happiness will only come with curves this way and
if I lay in front of you today
Clothes dropped to the floor
You’d prescribe me what I could have less and what I should want more of
A tick box what could be chopped off with red pen ready hand aside your eyes deciding what to slice from lips and cheeks to bum and thighs
The lines below my eyes you say
I ought to peel or pull away
My breasts will start to sag one day
My breastfed baby there to blame
She came into the world you say
That’s great
but now behold your face
your saggy stomach, baggy eyes
Stretch mark stripes you look and sigh:
My eyes, tighten
My legs, inject
My thighs, cut back
My head, perfect
My stomach, flatten
My breasts, enhance,
Don’t smile, too much
Oh God, don’t laugh.
As you mark me like a canvas page in circled bouts of red
I feel the need to tell you you might praise this skin instead
Cos as you chat about corrections, your plucking cuts and lasers
Briefcase stuffed with time relapses, scalpol led erasers
I take up your red pen to my cheeks and mark two stripes on either side
A naked painted warrior could be a sorer site for eyes cos
I am ready for your battles now
My body’s felt the worst
No scalpol cut intense as that last damn push of birth
And I have learnt with awed amazement what my body brave can do
And now I’m marked like tribal tattoos with the tales my flesh went through
But those stripes that line my saggy stomach mark me like gold
And the folds by my eyes tell a tale just as bold
My laughter lines are deeper now because I smile twice as much
so if you palm read these first ‘wrinkles’ my life would light up.
Your official position is that smoothness is queen
but without any lines there’s no reading between them
A storybook opening
My life’s just begun and
Once upon never plays
If you cling to line one
As you try to cover the living I’ve done
As a human, a woman, and now as a mum
But your red pen can’t rub out the night’s I’ve not slept, the parts that I’ve bled or the laughter I’ve wept, the baby I held in the stomach that stretched, the breasts that got heavy so baby was fed, the parties I’ve had out, the sleep I’ve missed out on, the dinners I’ve stuffed down my throat like a python,
As you pile on the pressure to cover my life
I wonder what on earth is so wrong with your sight.
If my mind and my memory can tell you my tales
Then why can my body not tell them as well?
As our babies lie naked,
Applauding their skin
I can’t wait for their lives and their lines to begin

http://holliemcnish.bandcamp.com/track/wow

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