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By Deborah Finding

I used to hold my rounded stomach before

going to sleep, taking comfort

in its softness, its pliability and warmth

once a child grew there, two in fact

but after that, only layers of self-

soothing, good times, and an increasing

unwillingness to say no to pleasure

wherever I could find it

within ever-limited category options

now as I lie on my side, my hip bone

creating an uncomfortable pressure,

on the bed newly hard, like my thighs,

spinning like the miller’s daughter

not for straw into gold, the end product

coveted is the gap, my reward thin air

I touch what is left but I feel what is gone

from around me, like an aura of absence

now carrying the weight of expectations


Deborah Finding (she/her) is a queer feminist writer from the UK with a background in academia, journalism and activism.

Her interests include gender, sexuality, trauma, mythology and popular culture, and she has been published widely on these in both academic and mainstream press. Publications include interviews and features for DIVA magazine, The Guardian and the Huffington Post, two contributions to IB Tauris’ ‘Reading Cult Television’ book series, and chapters in books on popular culture after 9/11; popular music and human rights, as well as more general intersectional feminist research and writing.

She holds a PhD from LSE’s Gender Institute, focusing on sexual and domestic violence narratives in popular music, and has undergraduate and masters degrees in philosophy and theology from Cambridge University.

In addition to writing, Deborah works with companies who are seeking to make improvements to their organisational cultures, and the wellbeing of their people. She has also previously worked in the NGO sector - in both frontline and spokesperson capacities - for mental health and sexual violence charities in the UK, and remains passionate about these issues, as well as about the power of the arts in therapy.

Originally from the North-East of England, Deborah now lives in London.

She can be found tweeting about the patriarchy, politics and poetry on Twitter or taking a breather on Instagram.


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