sticks and stones - a slam poem

Sometime after my fifteenth birthday, something happened to me. I changed. I started living with ghosts in my own head. Demons. There was this girl who would watch me when I woke up, when I put on my clothes, my earrings. When I washed my face and brushed my hair and she’d look at me with her critical eyes and tell me I was ugly and stupid and that she hated me. She told me she hated me. She lived in the mirror.

I’m free from all this, now. I know that I’m beautiful. But I didn’t always know that. Sometimes when I talk about this, it’s really hard. I think it will always be hard. But not because I don’t understand – I do  understand. And I want you to understand it, too. And so, this poem. Because I don’t know what other words to use. Because sometimes my heart burns within me and I have to let it out in words. It took a long time for me to get to the place where I could actually write this. And a year or so later, here we are. I finally recorded this poem yesterday and I want to give it to you. Because you’re beautiful. Do you understand?


P.s. This is the first slam poem/spoken word I’ve ever written/recorded. Please forgive any yuckyness. Also, I'm guest posting this on my sister's blog, The Goodness Revolt. Check it out, she's a spectacular gel. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE FLORENCE?!)


for me
it wasn’t them 
it wasn’t the sticks and stones of seventh grade
the words like knifes,
trying to get at my bones because they were just so easy to break

for me
it was me

because yes, those words from other lips can cut me
but nothing is more of a knife than my own voice coming out with the tears, saying
are ugly

I was a stupid little girl
left alone to play by herself
with knives

left alone in a room of painted faces
posters of perfection
what you’re suppose to look like

and people didn’t see the blood
because I managed to hide it
like an optical illusion, I was the only one seeing it
looking in the mirror, finding an ugly, maimed beast there with dark circles under her eyes and blood from the wounds getting all over her
I was the only one seeing it
while everyone told me hey,
you’re beautiful
eat more food

but as if my ears had developed dyslexia
the words sounded more like static on a radio
something I wanted to turn down
to turn off

I hated that word

I didn’t want to hear it
because what I saw in the mirror was anything but

because beautiful had turned into a beast itself
the mark I had to meet
the lead balls chaining me
to the scale
to the treadmill
to every low-calorie piece of crap that I could get away with calling food

as if calories
weren’t actually energy but
tiny ghosts that haunted my wardrobe and wanted to make my double zero skinnies too tight for me

I dreaded getting up in the morning
to meet the cold with my bare feet
silently secretly terrified of the glaring red numbers on the bathroom floor
but going back to that scale
like a street drug addict
shooting up the acid that was nothing more than numbers—

watching my bones slowly make their way to my skin
I just wanted
to be pretty

and it wasn’t like I didn’t want to finish my food every night
you don’t get it
I wanted to
but I couldn’t
because the slow, painful process of cutting and cutting and cutting had left me not only with tear-filled eyes and clothes that didn’t fit
and a head raging with questions,
begging a name to grab, anemic, hormonal, mental, anything
but underweight,
it left me
with a shrinking, shrunken stomach
stuffed full
of regrets

it wasn’t just the knot in my stomach knowing what would happen if I ordered a salad
being stabbed again by a knife I crafted as the words started coming out of other lips
sticks and stones
my heart in shreds
my hands in my eyes like if that would somehow stop the tears
the voices behind me spreading thick like a layer of black oil from the slick I’d trapped myself in
stabbing at me even from behind the door I’d slammed
“eating disorder”

it wasn’t so dramatic

most of the time
it was me

that stupid little girl
playing all alone with the knives
shut in a bathroom under bad lighting
staring up at the 74 pound mug shot of messy hair and dark circles
shapeless, flat, look at you

you’re so

it wasn’t what other people said
it was what I said

sticks and stones

but like anything else, help came not like a gentle nudge but a like cinderblock in the face
what the hell did you do to yourself?

as if my bones had lost their voice
and my conscience had forgotten what it felt like to speak
the screams like desperate pleas for mercy came from everywhere

like the blurry white ceiling pinned up over my tangle of tissues and fevered headache and mangled mess of a bed on the floor
like the alcohol rubbed into my bed-sore back muscles
like the bathroom mirror when I took my clothes off for the first post-fever shower only to find an escapee from a concentration camp—

what the hell did you do to yourself?

I don’t want you to know what it feels like to be curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor, crying
because you’re too weak to stand up

five feet, two inches
and seventy-three pounds
of bones
with all the scars of those knives
lying fully scathed inside and out
the voices came still, with warm hands and gentle kisses, like sweet ointment on a wound, prying the knives out of my cold, bloody fists—

are beautiful”

and I could finally hear it

because if those posters and those pictures of those perfect bodies were really our textbook goal to someday reach
then they wouldn’t be shoved down our throat like anesthesia in the checkout line
if I
was supposed to have her body
then God wouldn’t have given my own

so no matter what I do
no matter what I eat
no matter how many times I look in the mirror, twisting my body this way and that as if expecting at any moment to finally find that “pretty side”
no matter how many times
I tell myself otherwise

will ever be able to replace that glaring, obvious fact
written on our hearts from our very first breath—


do you understand?

you are not the numbers on the scale
you are not the size of your pants
you are not what you say you are

how dare you give your opinion to the mirror
how dare you tell yourself you're less
how dare you diss the creator who sculpted you
that nose
those eyes
those teeth
those fingernails
that freaking awesome ass

do you think you have a say?
do you think you have a choice?
well you don't

because someone else has already put his finishing touches on you
someone else has already written your description
in sharpie across your chest
your face
your hands
your feet
someone else has already engraved it on your heart;


do you understand?

thank you so much for listening to that. like, wow. 
can I just hug you? tell me what you thought, s'il vous plait. xoxo.


  1. ugh, you're a beautiful soul, you know that!?! this is so real and raw and amazing and beautiful. "because someone else has already put his finishing touches on you
    someone else has already written your description"

    isn't our God amazing? he loves us through it all and sees the darkest part of our soul and still says, "i love you and you are gorgeous, just how you are." you're beautiful girl, and you're story is gonna change lives!

    1. Aww, oh my goodness. Thank you so much, Jana. *wipes away tears* You're the sweetest. <3 I'm so glad you liked it. Your words mean so much to me. (:

  2. Beezee. This is incredible. Incredible that you won in the end, that you found the true beautiful. That you let God show you what's right, what's true, what's honorable. Thank you for sharing a bit of your soul.

    1. Thank you so much, Evelyn. You don't know how much that means to me. <3 Thank you, thank you. (And thanks for visiting my blog, too! xo)

  3. ABBIEE.

    It is okay if I cried a bit after listening to this and then played it again? The raw need for God presented in this poem make me so emotional.

    Why? Why do we believe the lies from Satan telling us that beauty is stick-skinny, airbrushed, manipulated deception? Why do we listen to the Devil's voice in our head saying "if you weighed less, you would be worth more?" We know that it is a LIE! And better yet, we know THE TRUTH!!! Yet these lies ingrain themselves into our thoughts and we use them as a crutch to hardly make it through life.


    I am so convicted about this. This abandoning of God's truth. This running away God's lies.

    My prayer has changed. I know do not pray that I no longer feel insecure. I pray that I be saturated so much in the TRUTH that there is no more room for the lies. I pray not to feel pretty but to glorify the most beautiful God ever.

    Oh, Abbiee, your song Mirror Girl holds a much deeper meaning to me now. Thank you for linking this poem to me. I am saving it!

    "THerefore, since we are surrounded my such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners that you might not grow weary and lose heart."

    Hebrews 12:1-3


      OH MY WORD HOW DO I EVEN RESPOND TO THIS BEAUTIFUL COMMENT. AAAAAAAAAACK. :''''') "I pray that I be saturated so much in the TRUTH that there is no more room for the lies." <<< WOWOWOWOW YESSSSS!! so so beautifully and perfectly said, Hannah. <3 truly, that's exactly what I needed!

      AND GAH I'M SO GLAD THIS BRINGS MORE DEPTH TO MY SONG, MIRROR GIRL!! thank you. wow, thank you thank you I can't stop saying that because I seriously mean it. :) THIS COMMENT HAS BRIGHTENED MY LIFE SO MUCH. *more hugs* ♥

  4. Hey, Abbie. I don't know if it's too late to comment on this (Seeing as you posted it like, a year ago) but I just now saw this post, and oh my word, girl, It's amazing! Like, I don't even know what to say right now! :-) I actually started to cry, reading this. (And that doesn't happen often at all) Thank you so much for posting this. This is really what I needed to hear right now.


kind words are like raindrops on the desert. they make me bloom with happiness, as absolutely cliche and cheesy as that sounds. even if it's just a simple alt+3 i will heart you for it. so, go ahead! MAKE MY DAY. literally.