“The Hymn of a Fat Woman” by Joyce Huff
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
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. Hard 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.
From Gargoyle Magazine
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.
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.