I look at the girl  
in the photograph,
see the happiness and surprise
on her face,
yet all I can do is marvel
at how thin she was.
If you'd said that to me then,
I would've smiled and told you
I'd been dieting for the wedding,
but thin?
No, never would I have used
thin and me in the same sentence.

It's hard to believe that girl was me.
And yet...
the proof is there, in living color,
albeit a little grainy.
I wish I could go back and somehow
make that younger version of myself
believe that she was beautiful
in all the ways she wanted to be,
but couldn't see that she already was.
I might have saved her a lot of tears.

That's the kind of wish
that can never come true,
but maybe by sharing my story
of lessons learned (better late than never)
some other young woman
will take a moment to recognize
she's more beautiful than she knows.

Elise Skidmore ©2019

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