Marks of Passage

First iris bloom of the spring. 

I concentrate on her curves,

Ache at her beauty, lush and blue,

All secret hollows and satin enticements.

The lure. 

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.



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