Guest Poet Maria A. Convery

Gastric Bypass

Doctors told me I was morbidly obese
"In order to live you must have this done."
The only thing I knew
was I wanted to be thin.

When I finally stirred around
I was left in the dark.
The only thing I knew
was the severe pain 'round my stomach.

I don't understand why
I would want to go through something so traumatic.
The only thing I knew
was society was obsessed with thinness.

I eat very little and still don't reach their goal.
The staples are still in.
The only thing I know
is I will not do it again.

I have learned to value my life.
I have learned to accept myself.
The only thing I know
is I am a beautiful person.

May, 1999

Maria A. Convery's Questions:

This is my first time submitting a poem.  I am not sure about the title of "Gastric Bypass," but was unsure of what else to call this poem about having this surgery done.  Any suggestions? 

I tried to convey society's obsession with being thin and how even doctors would suggest that someone go through a dangerous surgery just to be thin.  I also tried to convey how someone who was desparite to be thin could easily be swayed into having this done.  Did this come through? 

Is there something that could be changed?

The Albany Poetry Workshop