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Susan Stinson

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07:02 pm: So young, so fat
I keep getting glimpses of the story about a doctor suggesting that fat children be removed from their parents. His idea is that this is a more humane alternative than subjecting them to weight loss surgery. The link I've given you above does a thorough job of taking apart that logic, and also mentions that the family of Anamarie Martinez-Regino has spoken out against this idea. Here is a poem I wrote when I first heard Anamarie's story more than a decade ago. It remains my response to the notion of removing children from their families because of their size.


Taken

On Friday, August 25, 2000, 3 year-old Anamarie Martinez-Regino was removed from the custody of her parents at by the state of New Mexico based on a doctor’s recommendation, citing Anamarie’s weight. She wasn’t returned until Friday, November 10, 2000.

Anamarie, I had asthma, too.
When I was six -- three years older than you --
my parents took me to the hospital.
I stayed a day or two.
I remember the puppet, Pinkie, they sent me home with.
I remember sitting alone, crying,
on a padded bench in a windowless room after a test.
It was a long time before my parents found me,
but when they did, I felt indelible joy.


I was a fat kid, too, but nobody took me
as they’ve taken you
crying and kicking at your doctor’s word
away from your family, your mother no choice for you
in case your size is someone’s fault

Your family is accused of giving you solid food,
but maybe they’ve kept you on the liquid diet.
The doctors have heard the numbers, I’m sure, about how diets fail
over and over over the long run
perhaps they feel
that anything
any hunger any risk any loss or fear

is better than being so young, so fat

This is not true.
It’s not true.

(Hush the epidemic of confusion among doctors,
their panic at bodies they don’t understand.)


It is not true.

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Comments

[User Picture]
From:tinywarrior
Date:July 26th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
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Powerful and beautiful. Just like you.
[User Picture]
From:susanstinson
Date:July 26th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. It's not a new poem -- I'm pretty sure that I've posted it here before -- but circumstances that call for it come up.

I love your icon -- gorgeous.
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