Michelle Daly



they sit at either end of the bed. her breasts spilling out over the top
of rumpled bedclothes. stilted small-talk as she examines her hands.
she catches his look of disgust quickly masked by indifference. bile rises
as she snatches up the sheet. staring at the window he says,
“glad you did that, can’t stand looking at you anymore.”

grey light, solid as cold cement outside her window. fine. get up. fine.
passing by the mirror she sees her naked reflection. looks at the pasty
white flesh, the heavy weight of her ass dimpled with fat. the soft sag of belly
where bones should be. breasts hanging low, rivered with stretch-marks.

everything makes her gag. nothing goes in. white anger boils in her guts. no.
you get nothing you fat, greasy pig.

she marvels at the sharp blades of hip bones, at the ripple of ribs.
it’s been weeks of cola and pickles. leaping from the bed she begins to dance.
a wild frenzied ballet. she feels gloriously clean.

“have you eaten?” a friend asks. “you need to eat.” red warmth rises to her
face. she feels light. lighter than air, lighter than all the other girls. she agrees
with everything and hears nothing.

gravity has changed. she floats up off the sidewalk with each step. a glance of
reflection fills her with singular joy. she is a cottonwood seed, her limbs
delicate filaments.

as the doctor listens to her irregular heartbeat he exclaims, “look at your arms!”
she looks. admires the long slender lengths of arm. she can see he is
jealous. that he wants her now that she is strong and thin.

lying on her bed she explores her body.
glorious, unyielding bones.
euphoric, she raises a hand towards the black bowl of the sky.





i invite you in
the tin-man with your bits and bobs
treasures trailing after you
like the cans on a wedding car

i invite you in
the come-as-you-are man
nibbling day-olds,
gazing into me with redwood eyes
and leaves on your shoes

i invite you in
the man who wears the world
like needles in his skin
and all the forgotten things
you wish to store up in my spare room

i invite you in
to be the clay and bone and breath man
prizing open doors and windows
to let the dusty sun blow through.



Michelle Daly is the daughter of a Mennonite mother and a military father. She is a writer, administrator, mother and partner. Michelle has been writing poetry since she was 11 years old, and has been a member of the Brandon Write Club for 5 years.

One Reply to “Michelle Daly”

  1. I enjoyed all of these poems but especially the ” Bones” poem. I had never looked through the eyes of an anorexic before, very interesting and well written!

Comments are closed.