The Weight by Lily Myers

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The Weight

My heart has become a deep bowl.
A pot like the one my mom uses
to make popcorn on the stove.
She stands like a heron,
all thin legs and poise.
Shakes the kernels as she tells me
the ways my father was always too big for her.
And for the first time I see her
as she is now;
a woman with an ex-husband,
fifty-eight, standing in the kitchen of her hollow house.
Tracing her life’s trajectory with a thin red pen.

I can hold it now.
I have carved out large parts of me;
basins in which to pour
moments like this,
when I hear that the people who taught me love
had an irredeemable fault line.
The certainty of a rupture
leaving them in silence and separate homes.

When she’s done,
I am heavier than before
but still standing.
The popcorn is slightly burnt,
but good.

Lily Myers

Lily Myers is a senior at Wesleyan University. She competed on Wesleyan’s 2013 WeSlam slam poetry team, winning Best Love Poem at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational for her poem “Shrinking Women”. She writes a blog, The Shapes We Make (, devoted to cultivating positive and compassionate feminism through poetry, essays, art, and activism. She is currently working on a young adult novel addressing themes of family and body image, to be released by Philomel in 2017. Follow her on Twitter: @lmyerspoetry