By Sarah Wood

Heart in my lungs, 

The anatomy of a 

Spineless woman.

No one ever told me that

Relying on oxygen

From another person, was

No way to breathe.

Canary in the coal mine, 


The girl without a spine, 


No worries, all good. 

Of course, I’m happy to. 

That’s okay, I don’t mind.

An honest child, I cried

Wailing, wanting.

At what age, did I become agreeable?

Weeping willow woman.

Only asking for what is 




Folding in on myself, 

This nonexistent ribcage is no home for a 

Songbird soul.

No oxygen to feed, the

Spark of yellow.

Reaching for another person

To breathe, love into me,

So I might breathe myself.

But now I’m cracking open,

A wishbone. 

Straightening up, 

Take up space.

Only now am I growing a spine.

Sarah Wood is a writer, TEDx speaker and mindfulness facilitator from Michigan, currently living in New York City. She is the founder of Joy Soldier™, a community and toolkit to help people lead more joyful lives. She loves finding new books, hummus, and good questions. Sarah has previously been published in the Huffington Post and Thrive Global.

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