First iris bloom of the spring.
I concentrate on her curves,
Ache at her beauty, lush and blue,
All secret hollows and satin enticements.
Irresistible sex subsumed
Beneath the promise of honey.
When did I decide to accept
That I would never be beautiful?
That my place and purpose was instead
To create as much beauty around me
To nurture others and build
A reflection in the world
To blot out my reflection in the mirror?
How did we come to this?
A place where broken girls grow tough
And make honey from their bitter realizations
That the world wants none
Of the brightness that they brought
Only what they can buy–
An endless engine of hunger.
I look at myself, half-travelled
Through the strange country
Of my thirties. Culture sneers back–
Empty womb. Unpartnered.
But I trace the etchings of laughter
At the corners of my eyes
And see a map of joy.
How, I wonder, have I arrived here?
That the mirror should give back
Not the monster I’d assumed was there,
But a woman, the curve of small breasts
The lines of strong arms and legs
Bare to early sun,
And eyes deeper than I knew.
These things, this beauty grew itself,
As if in the long night.
I drank the rain and felt the pull
Of passage. Sunlight. Moonlight. Time.
Until this morning, this year, this decade
Found me changed. Not a girl,
Trembling with the hunger for love–
But a woman who knows its value,
Can give it tenderly, effortlessly.
A woman who holds the mystery
Of suffering and healing,
In the chalice of her gaze.
She is the blossom of this passage,
The secret workings of the seed.