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What's on the Cover

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Below is the poem entitled What's on the Cover which was written by poet Amy Swanson. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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What's on the Cover

What's on the Cover
        by Amy Swanson


"Fat, fat, the water rat,"
the other children said - 
and she could never after
get that phrase out of her head.

Little girl would anxiously
await the time for play,
praying silently that they
would not tease her today.

Every recess was the same
and each day she would cry,
at times she felt so hideous
she wanted to just die.

She had to work three times as hard
to lose a little weight
while others could eat anything
that sat upon their plate.

She grew into her teen years
all too quickly she found out
that if her food did not stay down
no longer she'd be stout.

She knew that this was not the way,
a miserable eating plan;
but it made the teasing stop,
she even met a man.

She kept her secret very well
continued it for years
while going through life's motions,
hid behind her silent tears.

Folks would say "You're beautiful,"
but if they only knew
just what it took to stay that way
they'd have a different view.

Life goes on, and time went by
no matter how she tried
she never felt like she belonged
sometimes she sat and cried.

Society cares far too much
for lust of lovely things,
And those that don't like what they see
will quickly clip the wings

of someone else who won't conform
to this world's shape and image.
It matters not, their brains or heart,
it's more about the visage.

She raised her head and looked into
the mirror, with wet eyes
she shook her head and suddenly
she came to realize

she was as good as anyone
with so much love to give -
she'd died inside, a slave to scales
she now wanted to live.

She splashed cool water on her face
and made a solemn vow
today would be a fresh new start
beginning here and now.

This is not just one girl's story
many share her tale;
warnings of bulimia
oft met with no avail.

If only we could look beyond
the flesh of one another;
True value based on what's inside,
not what's on the cover.

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  1. Date: 3/12/2009 8:25:00 AM
    very rich, full, deeply heartfelt poem, lyrically told! very nice, message resonates with many, Jim

  1. Date: 3/11/2009 4:13:00 PM
    This is all too well known to alot of ppl. I have known quite a few that fell victim to others views. ~Ashley

  1. Date: 1/12/2009 6:18:00 AM
    Great poem. I'm sure so many people can empathise with this. Belated Christmas and New Year regards. Kevin

  1. Date: 1/8/2009 9:59:00 AM
    I am studying this in school, So i know how Anorexia and Bulimia take a toll on alot of teen's these days... You did an AMAZING job with this, wonderful!

  1. Date: 12/29/2008 6:24:00 PM
    Amy, my friend, I have the chills, your words run deep. The last stanza is so true I wish the world did care what lies on the inside. Amazing write, truly wonderful. Blessings to you ~Michaela~

  1. Date: 12/29/2008 12:42:00 PM
    My dear friend, when I say this, I mean it. This gave me chills. This is such a profound write on this subject. What a sad thing for girls of all ages. You know my little neice is only five years old, and her mother can't get her to eat because she says she is fat! This world puts way too much importance on looks! This is just wonderful! Love and hugs, Christie