Reflection by Susannah Conway

photo by Susannah Conway


I look in the mirror and see a woman there.
I recognise the sour smell of my
mother’s armpit as she reached over
to put dinner on the table,
her hot summer skin,
olive oil on her Sophia Loren legs
while my skin blistered
red and angry.

I look in the mirror and
hold handfuls of the flesh
that cushions my bones,
rubbery and pliant,
the shape not compliant
with my expectations,
the mind and body disconnected –
how can a belly so empty look so full?

I look in the mirror and remember
learning the language of widening hips
and dark hair between the legs,
not yet knowing that the
body will be reined in when
all it wants to do is grow wild,
to colour outside the strict
demarcated lines of adulthood.

                        – Susannah Conway

Susannah Conway is a photographer, writer and the creator of the Unravelling e-courses. Connect with her @SusannahConway.