A Dangerous Daughter: the poem

This poem tells the story of my novel, ‘A Dangerous Daughter’ without the details, plot twists, and characters in the novel. I promise no Spoilers! Let me know what you think of my poem.

A Dangerous Daughter

She wakes with a jolt,

Already late.

Morning tea break.

Her limbs all ache.

She swings legs to the edge,

Mere bones like twigs

Skin stretched over,

Dry as sedge.

She moves from the bed,

Slow and painful.

Everything hurts,

Her heart and her head.

Smells hot buttered toast,

Craves just a taste.

The tiniest crumb

Will seal her fate.

Pulls on a skirt

Her gaunt frame bent.

To hide her shame,

A top like a tent.

She could be ninety,

But is only fifteen.

Her shrivelled body

Mustn’t be seen.

You’ve blighted our lives

Daughter once dear.

The devil’s got you

We’re the victims here.

They send her away

Out of their sight

So they can forget

Their shame and fright.

Exiled from her kin,

Across the land,

Girl hides her sin

As best she can

Aunt’s teagown strains.

Over ample breasts.

“Just look at the state of you,

It’s wicked,” she says.

“Going out like that?

In the ground I will sink.

You’ll frighten the neighbours.

What will they think?”

Girl shakes her head

Runs a comb through her hair.

A quick flick, no more

And she’s out the door.

She has a disease

It has no name.

It brings her shame.

Only she’s to blame.

She’s nearly dead,

Has months to live

When a doctor, an angel

Sorts out her head.

At last a name

For what’s possessed her.

An actual disease!

Anorexia Nervosa.

What’s it mean?

They say, contemptuous.

A fancy name

Meant to impress us.

It’s all the rage,

They say, overseas.

Needless to say

It’s the slimmer’s disease.

It seems she can’t help it.

Should’ve believed her.

Now there’s a label,

It’s all so much easier.

© Dina Davis 2019


  1. I liked your poem. Having read the book, I can see how you were taking the main ideas and putting them into the poem.

    I am sorry to learn that you suffered fromthis horrible disease. I have a friend whose son suffers from this insidious disease. He wears clothes that cover up his thin body. His mother thinks he will die soon. She weeps whenever she talks about him. It is a horrible situation. I think you are very brave to reveal that you were anorexic. I hope this book finds its way in helping others. My yoga teacher, Marie, told me she is reading the book because she used to be a phycologist. I hope you keep on writing books and poetry. All the best, Loren



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