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Below are poems written by poet Charlotte Puddifoot. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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The Hunger Game

Ana's taught me to count
not in numbers but calories
with a yolk-yellow calorie handbook.
The calories pulse with a heartbeat.
They are not dead and number-flat;
they whisper and breathe, real and alive.
A pebble-heavy potato = 105.

She's grey-gaunt, spinning herself thin,
this mirror woman staring back at me,
anaemic-pale and flower-frail.
But fat silently seeps, oozes greasily
beneath jutting hipbones; contaminating,
expanding like some monstrous child.

Consumed by the rituals of chew-and-spit -
food without guilt and regret, no threat,
no unctuous slippage of calories down the throat.
But hunger escapes from the body's bone-cage;
my tongue tingles for texture and taste,
craves chocolate's dark velvet melt.
"Eat," my body pleads.
"Resist." Ana stabs my ear with a knife twist.
Eat. Resist. Eat. Resist. Eat. Resist.

The fading scar on my left wrist
where I tried to cut out calories
is the silvering slash of a grin.
And Ana's still smirking, skewing reality,
sneering "You'll never cut yourself free from me."

3 a.m., bloating in the bathroom's mirror-bright gaze,
one pound gained; the scale's needle
jabs hard into catastrophe's red haze.
Ana's on her knees beside the toilet, guilt-goading me,
forcing unforgiving fingers down my throat.

Cardiac arrhythmia.
My heart flutters like a flickering bulb,
stutters like my tongue
searching for words to voice a lie.
Ana tightens the puppet strings,
pulls my marionette mouth
into shapes that say: "I'm not hungry."
"I've already eaten today."
Her voice is snake-hissy
slithering into my ear:
"How many calories? How many calories?"
Insistent, scratching my bone china mind,
screeching like nails down a windowpane.

Drifting dizzily through pangs and pains,
giddy with the headiness starvation brings,
air-light and feather-floaty.
My thoughts could take off like birds.

Always cold.
The Arctic gusts in
and I'm blown to bone.
My arms are winter branch brittle;
wrists could snap with one tap.
I wobble on frangible twigs
that barely pass for legs.

Ketosis: a sour-apple smell
clinging acidic on breath and skin.
Hair strands are falling: spiderweb threads,
wisps and glints of coppery red;
autumn filaments floating off into empty space...

Drip. Drip.
I'm tubed and taped -
the needling invasion like soul rape.
A fattening elixir
of nutrients and glucose is cannula-fed
into my winter-blue veins.

Ana's jabbering on the end of the bed,
swinging matchstick legs,
her bone-brittle voice word-jabbing me:
disgusting, pathetic, obese.
They've stuffed me with prozac,
fed me diazepam,
in a desperate bid to turn her volume down.

Gauzy morning, a hollow dawning:
I must play the hunger game,
consume just enough to gain.
Discharged, I'll count my days
not in numbers but calories,
guilt-grubby and grubbing
for the killing crumbs,
spinning myself thinner
till Ana frees or kills me.

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  1. Date: 9/8/2014 6:22:00 AM

    WOW!!! This kind of writing humbles me tremendously. I simply LOVE this. I would love to write something so amazing. Love and Prayers and God bless you... WOW again!!! Love, Gina
  1. Date: 9/3/2014 12:29:00 PM

    Congratulations Charlotte. I think every student should have to read this poem. Maybe it could help them before they get started. Beautiful.
  1. Date: 9/1/2014 10:17:00 PM

    A truly poignant picture of a painful disease and how difficult it is to overcome. It should be shared with those who just don't have an understanding of what it is like for the patient. Beautifully written with a depth of knowledge embracing empathy. What an impressive talent you are Charlotte! Blessings, Connie
  1. Date: 8/31/2014 10:03:00 PM

    My wife runs an Eating disorder program here in Kelowna so I am well familiar with the dance of ED and ANNA. Of all mental disorders it has the highest mortality rate effecting about 2 percent of the population. You have provided a vivid glimpse Ito this world. Well done
  1. Date: 8/31/2014 9:00:00 PM

    Oh my dear Charlotte. This is touched me profoundly. I don't want to say anything stupid to trivialize the magnitude of this. We medicate differently and it is often harmful to both body and psyche. ANA needs to pipe down. Yes...you portrayed this ILLNESS well here. So well that I need some time to breathe. I have my own issues...If only I could share! Hugs
  1. Date: 8/31/2014 9:36:00 AM

    Charlotte, To think that you are going thru all that you have said here makes me sick.
  1. Date: 8/31/2014 8:49:00 AM

    A truly awesome display of talent in this write!
  1. Date: 8/31/2014 8:40:00 AM

    this is a brilliant write, Charlotte. you had me go into the world of anorexia. God bless you!
  1. Date: 8/30/2014 2:38:00 AM

    personification is brilliantly done ..i always admire a poet wh o can exploit a given technique thoroughly and yo u have done it....well done........ also many thanks for the pleasure of being allowed to take part in you r contests ...in a great hurry now must run....best wishes Syd
  1. Date: 8/29/2014 10:04:00 PM

    wowowowowow. This is AMAZING. The way you have anorexia personified as Ana. That is SO clever. I know all about the counting of calories. I have done it since age 14, but I feel so grateful that I never felt the need to resort to these practices of inflicting such damage on the body. your title you chose is also brilliant. They truly play a game to get out of the hospital and keep on with their sick habit. It's very tragic. Remember karen Carpenter? She finally overcame it and still she died.
  1. Date: 8/29/2014 10:04:00 PM

    Keep up with this kind of brilliance,charlotte.
  1. Date: 8/29/2014 6:22:00 PM

    Wow, this is profound and painful. Well done...I wont forget this poem anytime soon. BG

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