A Monster

by Patricia Ace


At fourteen my daughter looks
At herself through new eyes.
Critically she studies her face and figure,
Examines the facts, judge and jury,
Condemning herself.

From the full-length glass in her blue room
She appraises her lazy eye, a nose
Suddenly bulbous, a chinless wonder.
A head too small for the spread
Of her shoulders, sloping.

Breasts misshapen, hips too big,
Thighs too wide, ankles too thick,
The blisters on her feet from having
No arches. Everything is wrong,
Each part of her a mistake.

I am sent to the shops to find
Tweezers, plasters, concealer:
Things to cover up, hide behind.
She spends hours in the bathroom
Rubbing herself out.