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Poppy Seed | Justine Martin

You are the size of a poppy seed,

before that the size of a pin head and before that a ball of cells.

I read that on the Pampers website.

I indulged after the two lines came up.

I imagined the ifs,

the what could bes

and the smell of the skin on your forehead.

Your eyes,

brown, blue, or green.

I held the bottom of my stomach and saw the image of it changing shape,

my womanhood is this,

this moment.

I pursue the internet for stories of other people in their second year at uni,

carrying a life.

They say they did it, they are successes.

I see my friends, strong women in their late twenties who had babies young,

they’re thriving. Could that be me?

I think about myself on stage

Blurring like a hologram, as though it no longer belongs to me,

the visual leaves me.

I hear the words come out of my mouth

The same my mother used,

“I was going to be an actress before I had you”

It hits me,

Indents me,

shatters me.

I can’t.

I want to be your strength

I want to create a world for you that is safe

where I have satisfied my wildest fantasies,

so, I can one day hold you in yours.

For now,

you are my poppy seed

that made me remember,

the woman I want to be.


Justine Martin

She/ Her


Justine Martin is a Surrey-based actor and poet studying for a BA in Drama with Film. She has worked as an actor in London and Brighton throughout her early twenties while studying the Meisner Technique with the Actor’s Gateway.

She submitted her first piece of poetry ‘Where are you little girl?’ which was published in print in the book ‘Smear, Poetry for Girls’ edited by Greta Bellamacina.

Her work is predominantly self exploratory and reflective of our social and societal dynamics.

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