Happy Birthday

For DVerse Poetics, we’re writing about food. Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows this topic can be quite heavy for me. Even if you’re “recovered” from an eating disorder, it never really leaves you. The topic of food can also be fun, but I went the “heavy” route because this poem wanted to be written. Not sure if this is a “good” poem, but I put my heart (and my painfully-visceral feelings) into it, so here goes. Linked with JusJoJan day 11 as well.

She made her mother cry
During her birthday celebration
At a fancy restaurant:
She tried, but haunted by
The ingredients in the creamy
Tomato bisque, her brain wouldn’t
Let her risk more than
One spoonful. The small bowl
Was an insurmountable obstacle.

She felt horrible, as her disease
Left its bitter taste over everything,
And still, from the haze of those days’
Memories arises clearly, this.

She feels it in the pit of her stomach,
Nearly choking on its ghost.

( I’m so sorry, Mommy, glad we’ve had
Better celebrations since then. )

red amazon danbo on brown wooden surface
Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

19 thoughts on “Happy Birthday

  1. Jenna, I’m very sorry to hear you carry that memory with you with its attached pain. Your mom must have been very invested in the soup to have her crying because you wouldn’t take more than a taste of it. I can remember one of my little brothers being made to sit at the dining room table for hours many nights because he refused to eat every last scrap on his plate. My stepfather was the tyrant of the dining hour and beyond 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Food, always a sensitive subject at best, becomes a major issue at the most delicate of times.People without issues have little comprehension of the anxiety and pain involved. Of course it occupies a central role in many social and ritual contexts and makes it difficult for a person who can’t consume the menu a sort of outcast.


  3. Thank you for this brave write, Jenna, and for speaking up and raising awareness about eating disorders. We need to be able to talk about these things so sufferers can get the help they need!


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