How often have you felt that you take up too much space in the world? Or maybe you were in the wrong place, an outsider not wanted? Have you ever been displaced? I think most people experience it at least once in their lifetime. We feel must shrink away and not be so loud, or so bright, so smart, or so strong. Here’s to all those who have ever felt displaced. I want you to know, you are seen. You are Heard. And we need your creative voice as much as we need anyone else’s.

She has been told
she takes up too much space
in the world.
Her roundness consumes
the seat for two
on a bench,
maybe over fills the bus seat,
has had to fake buckle her belt on the plane.
She shrinks
when she can,
slipping in and out of rooms
pressing herself against a wall,
holding in her belly
in an effort to take away from who
she is.
Not wanting to
or impose
her stature on anyone,
she makes her voice soft,
keeps her head turned down,
does not raise her hand.
She remembers being young,
Cybil Shepherd looks from her
Moonlighting days,
and even then she was not small enough,
her “football” shoulders, she was teased,
her curvy hips,
her wide ribcage.
She whispers,
to make up for all the physical space
she devours.
It is all she sees when she looks in the mirror;
not silver blue eyes that change to green
or her smile;
instead she sees the round belly,
her thick thighs,
her round face.
She cannot see the curly hair,
her kindness, her empathy.
She sees she takes up more space than you,
so she quiets her tone,
hoping you won’t notice she is there.