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  • Writer's pictureMarieke de Koker


“It’s too much.

It’s too tight.

It’s inappropriate,”

she said.

“You look like a sleaze.

A tease,”

is what she meant.

My own mother thought I looked like a slut

in my grandmother’s pants

“You better eat,”

she said

when I was twelve.

“Or else you’ll stay flat as a pancake.”

I’m a married woman

She still complains

that I dare embrace natural beauty

I don’t cover my face with a mask of makeup

I don’t shave the blonde hair that embellishes my body

My mother

A religious woman who cannot appreciate god’s creation

I am too scandalous and too modest

Too beautiful and too ugly

Too much and too little

For my own mother

And here I thought my body belonged to me

© 2023 Marieke de Koker

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