Anorexia Poem

I’ve revised my most clumsily obvious anorexia allegory. Here’s the new version. What do you think?


The bearded grasses bow and shift
beneath the opened airs of spring
on Wicken Fen. It makes it difficult to see
the small birds fretting in the reeds.

Yet follow the prickle of movement down
and there they are, flustering the tall stems’ poise:
reed warblers, their nest a brusque endearment
between two working parents.

Something’s wrong with this nest, though.
Despite their driven care and vigilance,
something’s crept in, something nasty,
and laid a single egg.

You’d think they’d notice all the clumsy mimicry:
how the egg’s too big, imperfectly mottled.
You’d think they’d notice that a squirming thing
squatted there, blind and naked,

greedy, growing, like a baleful obsession,
an egg laid in the head,
corrupting all their instincts,
all their nervous habitudes usurped,

while they hurry through the small rooms
of their compulsions, uneasy,
troubled by phantoms, serving
this voracious invalid, changeling,

cuckoo-child, this gaping maw,
monstrous need,

that must be fed.
It must be fed.

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