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The Hymn of a Fat Woman

All of the saints starved themselves.
Not a single fat one.
The words “deity” and “diet” must have come from the same
Latin root.

Those saints must have been thin as knucklebones
or shards of stained
glass or Christ carved
on his cross.

as pew seats. Brittle
as hair shirts. Women
made from bone, like the ribs that protrude from his wasted
wooden chest. Women consumed
by fervor.

They must have been able to walk three or four abreast
down that straight and oh-so-narrow path.
They must have slipped with ease through the eye
of the needle, leaving the weighty
camels stranded at the city gate.

Within that spare city’s walls,
I do not think I would find anyone like me.

I imagine I will find my kind outside
lolling in the garden
munching on the apples. 

—Joyce Huff

From Gargoyle Magazine
Volume 44

Copyright Joyce Huff.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Joyce Huff. Copyright by Joyce Huff. For further permissions information, contact Joyce Huff, Dept. of English, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Joyce Huff is a poet from Muncie, Indiana. She is a professor of English at Ball State University.

Learn more about Joyce Huff at Ball State University, Department of English.