Dear Ana

 Dear Ana

Dear Ana, I joined your ranks once.

I marched,

my bones protruded,

my skin was stretched thin.

I marched with your soldiers.

We raised our arms,

our plates left bare,


you asked us to be better.

You told us to be the best,

trim away what we did not need.

I won't deny that at a time I myself was ensnared, enamored with your promises.

I wanted to be beautiful.

Never mind the cost.

I wanted to be beautiful.

I marched with your ranks, my uniform far from perfect, instilled with a debt, I still slipped up sometimes, but I was close.

I was so close.

So close and getting closer, soon I would have trimmed away all that made me ugly. And soft.

I trimmed away, I trimmed away I trimmed away and slowly began to swallow myself.

I became a magic trick,

more or less

I was less than more

and the more I was less,

I was more.

I began to fold myself up like a paper doll.

Ana, it was not the idea of becoming a paper doll which enamored me. It was not the staircase of a rib cage which drew me in, it was not the bookshelf where my stomach should've been. It was not even the idea of disappearing which enthralled me.

Ana, you promised I would be beautiful. You said that you would love me.

I waited patiently obeying orders, I hung your promises from my collar bones.


When you ordered me to the front line, had me offer up my flesh, you taught me skin and bones is beautiful.

Let them see bones not skin

you are a skeleton, make me proud. You said.


Tell me this:

when they were to carry my coffin would they even know there was a body inside. Would there be enough left of me to be a body. Even one of skin and bones.

Ana, you told me to be beautiful was to be thin. You told me I was never good enough, you said that no one would ever love me, Ana.

When you said those things, I had no doubt you believed them.

Ana, I know you wanted to make me just like you.

And those things you said you were just saying them to the mirror.

My reflection in yours.

This poem is about: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741