My abdomen used to be perfect an expanse of skin marred by nothing but the cup of my navel like a goblet in golden sand, ready to be filled with any heady liquid I chose. Taut as a drum covered in velvet with my hipbones rising upward like two perfect dorsal fins cutting across the sea of my skin leaving not even a ripple behind in their wake. But now my abdomen has changed no longer a pristine field covered in untouched snow. Instead the footprints and tread marks of my life trudge across its surface sinking into skin that has grown soft and more pliable with each new child and passing year. It has a patterning of purple, red and white scars like veins of quartz through a rock face starting under the canopy of my ribs where they opened me up and removed my bile bag. Moving down into my navel, now a broken wine glass lovingly pieced back together from when they sent a camera in to explore what I looked like from the inside out because some endometrial cells didn’t want to call my uterus home. Finishing at the lowest point possible where they made a cut to lift out two new bodies built in the pouch I keep hidden under my belly flesh like the secret pocket on the inside of a jacket. A scar that acknowledges original sin on my original skin. and runs perpendicular to my shark bite hipbones no longer visible but still circling under the surface. It has changed, this centre of my body because everything leaves a mark.
Alison D. Hauch is an educator and mother of twin daughters who studied English Literature and Dance at Western University. In her spare time she loves to read, practice yoga and bake fattening food. She writes about the everyday experiences of being a woman and a mother and how these experiences have changed over time.