By Michelle Fulkerson

The Accountant

You have traded in your confidence
for a scale and a preconceived notion.
An accountant is what you have become. 
Counting calories are your new ABC’s.

I'm watching you waste away
your veins transforming into Braille
your skin transparent as tracing paper
clothes hanging from your skeletal frame.

Your school planner becomes a calorie counter.
No room for food when you are swallowing lies
consuming air like it is crackers,
and guzzling water like it is air.

You are in too deep now.
You try to deny, to say you don't have a problem,
but darling…I don’t think it normal
to pass out in the hall.

At eighty-five pounds you blow in the wind.
With pale pupils and dead rimmed irises, 
the only language you are fluent in is numbers.
Numbers on the scale
of calories
of days without food.

An accountant is what you are.
In a malnourished haze you navigate,
dim bulbs turned into searchlights
conversations faded into static.
Your stomach now so small
fasting for days 
to reach that “perfect size”
yearning for the weight you once were.

An accountant you are.
I'm looking at you.
Watching you

Fear Knocks Twice

Relax and relapse
Welcome back old friend
You’ve been gone for too long
Can’t remember why I
pushed you out.

Oh yes, that’s right.
You were the one leading me
to starve.

You filled my head up with false promises,
false notions of confidence and control.
Oh, devil on my shoulder
you led me down this path of destruction.

Morphing my body into your canvas,
you etched away at my “flaws.”
You showed me things
I needed to be.

Old friend
you kept me in your clutches
two years too long.

Brainwashed me,
scrubbed my mind clean.
Camouflaged in the shadows,
you twisted my values,
carving my canvas
down to the bone.

Old friend
A friend no more.

I’ve been pushing you out
going on six months now.
I left my family, my friends, my home
to take you down.

I spent hours upon hours
building my own work of art.
Tried thousands of keys
to open your lock.

I ripped you away,
discovered a prescription 
no longer under your control.

But here you are old friend
waiting with relapse.

Your once enticing 
beauty turned sour
is enticing once again.
I fear if I reach out
you’ll never let me go.

Old friend
Acquaintance once more…

Memories of tools flow back.
Tools designed 
to keep your ways at bay.
Enticing you’ve become,
vindictive you are.

My need to soar
requires leaving you.
Something, old friend,
I’m not so sure I can do.

No, wait. 
Flip the script. 
old friend,
I’m sure I can do.


rosin coats the hairs of a bow 
held in a delicate grip.
A spotlight falls and a melody starts,
fingers flitting about along the strings.
It’s a dance,
elegant, ornate, captivating.
Dainty hands play as though the notes 
are part of them, 
intertwined with their soul.

Texture of Hope

Hope is rough 
like the pages of a well-worn book
heavy as blotting paper,
yet it easily slips through a person’s grasp.
Tan and flat,
hope is a page
with another’s words covering the surface.

Hope is not some shiny far away thought
or a wishful dream like state.
Hope is concrete and surreal
all in the same moment.

Some say hope is like the stars, 
always there yet just out of reach,
a light to guide the way. 

Hope to me is flexible,
seen in a song, a book or a phrase. 
It ignites a fire within the soul,
supplying the momentum needed to move forward
while also allowing those who possess it to take notice.
Hope slows us down to appreciate,
while simultaneously fueling the opinions, 
thoughts, actions and emotions we hold.

Hope is as ever-flowing as the rivers,
expansive and powerful 
connecting together in order to serve a larger cause 
fast paced and freeing,
embodying the flow of water
to carve out a purpose for those in need. 

Hope is oftentimes found in sorrow 
or great joy
and in the darkness of a movie theater
with the magic of the big screen that creates
a shield from the life that awaits
just beyond the theater doors.

Fresh Eyes

Salt water upon bronzed skin
a chiseled jaw
and skin soft as silk.
Grains of sand
fleck the bottoms
of rosy pink feet.
I long to be in the sun
to soak up its rays
and lie in fields of flowers.

I’m a shadow 
in the light of the early morning.
Drink me up, 
let my thoughts become a melody
in your soul.
I yearn to make you 
everything that I am not…
Dance in the light with me,
drag me out of the shadows.

Michelle Fulkerson fought her way into the world at just 23 weeks gestation. Against the odds, she survived and thrived. Michelle loved reading, writing and music. She began writing poetry and short stories at age 12. Around that same time, Michelle began struggling with anorexia, anxiety and depression. She kept a journal where she wrote with poignant honesty regarding her mental health struggles. Michelle wrote up until her death, just 4 months shy of her 18th birthday.

Following Michelle’s death, her mother discovered that Michelle had begun compiling her poems into a book, which she titled, “Through Adversity to the Stars.” The editor completed the book Michelle started, searching through her journals and her google drive for additional poems, reflections and short stories. She hopes to one day publish Michelle’s book.

2 thoughts on “The Accountant and Other Poems

  1. How true is Ms. Fulkerson’s “The Accountant.” My girlfriend is an accountant as well, so I can tell you that the lines in this poem remind me of everything my girlfriend has told me.


  2. Michelle’s words are vivid. I can relate because I have a dear friend who has, in one way or another, spoken them to me. It’s a heartbreaking struggle. I send my love to you beyond the stars, Michelle.


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