Praise Poem for a Body

 By: Erin Schalk

Praise the lifetime surgery scar, 
the hidden mark of a child-survivor.

Praise the teenage hair loss, teaching
beauty can be grown within.

Praise the damaged intestines, the adulthood discovery
demanding food as intentional medicine.

Praise the always anxiety-soaked brain, 
hyper-conscious of every possibility.

Praise the body and mind that still weather, adapt,
and strive to heal themselves.

Praise my voice, which paints word-images
for those who cannot see.

Praise my eyes that have always known colors,
that perceive sunrise from dusk.

Praise my hands that lift up my young children and
try to set down worries.

Praise this body that remains in motion, that
bends, stretches, spins, and runs.

Praise this body
that still is.

Bio: Erin Schalk is a writer, visual artist, and educator living in Orange County. She has been published in Northeastern University’s Pensive, Schoolcraft College’s The MacGuffin, Wales Haiku Journal, The Petigru Review, and others. Schalk is also the author of (quiet, space), a book which combines her poetry and visual art.


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