Independence, Money, and Henrik Ibsen

When I hear the prompt ‘independence’, I am reminded of a holiday in Hungary when I was nineteen. I had gone with a boy I barely knew after a holiday romance the month before. We travelled from Prague to Vienna to Budapest: on our first day in the Hungarian capital I realised I couldn’t use the euros I had from Vienna, and so set about finding a cash machine.

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if independence be freedom
may my scars no longer be cuffs nor chains

each mark, each line, each crease
tell stories of a life lived;
The times good, and the times bad
each one a memory carved unto my skin.

Having once been a sight for shame,
hidden beyond the gaze of judging eyes
they now represent something greater:
growth. change. liberation.

Today the girl named I
is happy. She is at peace.
Scarred yet strong, her legs lead her to new adventures.
The freedom to love herself and recognise her freedom. Her grasp upon her life. Her independence.

Kirsty Thomson

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A gift to myself

too long i have spent
days in sadness,
denying myself the joys
which fill my heart.

my mind told me
my body was the problem,
and that i deserve to be
punished for its size.

it didn’t occur to me
that i only know and love
that which i know and love
because my body allows it.

i will no longer deny myself
the privilege,
the right,
that mother nature gave to me.

i will spend countless hours
drifting out to sea,
i will see my own contours
in each wave.

the space between each set
is space created for me.
my expanses don’t even touch the sides
and the ocean will always carry me.

its power is no match for me.
now i see that there was no battle.
its power is no match for me.
it is a source begging to be harnessed.

it will find its way into my pores.
each drop quenches
the parts of myself
i had starved.

it is a bottomless well,
and at the bottom she stands
and offers me
a drink.

a gift to myself.

Sophie Nankivell, Poetry Editor

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