She walks in with her too-loose sweats
Eyes darting about
Until they reach their destination:
The cookie display
She fingers a bag of BBQ chips
Pursing her lips
Hating and loving the salty sweet things
She gets to the front
I can always spot The Sick Girl
I see her mind darting internally
As fast as those eyes
A million thoughts about
What to buy, what to buy!?
But one bag would never be quite the thing
To stop the Pastry Sirens from their incessant singing
And One Cookie is like blasphemy
I mean, really?
Really. You must be joking.
As if there were such a thing as One anything
When it comes to her Insatiable Feeding
She can’t fill the hole in her Soul
With any material
Or flour-and-sugar-filled thing
But she’d get an A-plus for trying
She orders safely ‘til she can go crazy
“Non-fat latte, please.”
Yep. I can always spot The Sick Girl.
She’s at the supermarket now
Free to unleash the Craving Beast
With her unwashed hair in her face
Or Hat or hoodie
Attempting to be incognito as her bony fingers throw in
5 more boxes of Lucky Charms
Or Haagen Daz
Or chocolate-caramel bars
Her manicured nails distracting from
Her knuckle scars
On fingers that help her get every last bit
They help her shout in that silent kind of shout
Because she doesn’t know what the hell to do
But try and numb the pain all out
I would try and meet her gaze and say
Everything will be okay
But the truth is I don’t know
And she thinks she’s hidden, anyway
There, on bright florescent light display
In aisle 3
She’s standing, then, in front of me
The clerk tries to make conversation
As she scans across things no one should eat
The Sick Girl can’t mutter back a single word
‘Cuz talking about the weather is just absurd
When her life is forever hanging in the balance
And you might Judge her but I do not
For we should never mistake Pain for Malice
I walk out, I say a prayer
One day she will be the one in line behind
The Sick Girl.
(Or better yet, there won’t be a Sick Girl to be in line behind.)
4 thoughts on “The Sick Girl”
I love the word OUT all by itself.
“fingers that help her get every last bit
That says SO MUCH about the disease, the addiction, the inner feelings of a “sick girl.”
WOW! Wonderful! You nailed it, Katie. You nailed it.
I’m sharing this.