This Is Her Body

Detail of “Ancestral Blessings,” Amanda Greavette, 2015, Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

Have you ever been bathed?
Bathing is so sacred.
A baby’s first bath.

Bathing is how I love every pound of flesh on my fat, Black body.
I lift up my rolls. I raise up my belly, reminding me of what I once held.

What I held broke me wide open. It broke my body and stretched it wide as the skies. It broke my heart, wrapping it in the breadth and width and depth of a love like no other.

And yes . . . I would do it again.
This body feels as though it at times betrays me . . .
Reproductive health choices that seemingly broke my body.
Have I betrayed this body?
This broken body.
But it was given. Given for him. Given for me.

This body, my body, became as one to feast on. One to gather around the table and pump and mine for liquid leaven. The well may run dry, but this body, my body, keeps on giving . . . this body, my body,
became as one to feast on.

This is my body, broken for you.
And if she should labour, it would
begin first in her heart.
A labour of love as they call it.
And yes . . . I would do it again.

Stretch marks.
Scar on her lower abdomen.
I am birthed.

He is birthed.

I am held.

He is held.

This is her body, given for me.

A mother’s love.
To labour . . .
To birth . . .
To tear . . .
All to be held.

Take, eat . . .
This is my body broken for you.

Take, drink . . .
This is my blood from
whence you came.

To give my body draws me close to the body that purchased my soul.

Mother God,
You are the Word who holds me, you are the God who grows me, you are the God that knows stretch marks intimately because such is Calvary. You are the God who gives . . . your broken body . . . for me.

A baby’s first bath . . .
Mary, when you bathed your baby, you caused him to multiply.
Water, softening, swelling.
The body of Christ . . . broken . . . for you, and you, and you, and you.

Take, eat.

Kadeisha Mariah Bonsu is a clinical social worker and ordained minister based in Durham, North Carolina. She is the owner of a private practice, Expect – Healing and Wellness Center. As a Black, Christian therapist, she is passionate about journeying with others as they share their stories and learn to narrate and re-narrate their stories for themselves. She views this as a sacred journey and is privileged to hold space with those she serves. Kadeisha is a wife and a mother.

Issue 68

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 68, Spring 2023, Bread & Wine.

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