A Moon-Time Mourning

We have been wounded,
women.

We have been stolen
from ourselves.

We bear the signs of torment
on our brows,
sweating out our laborious works
under the watchful eyes of
misogyny and a
cruel patriarchy.

We see the signs of heartbreak
on our breasts,
once splendid in their purity,
once honored for their life-giving nourishment,
now covered
and cut
and muzzled
and pressed
to appease
a male sexuality
that has forgotten
we were once a union.

We hide from the newfound shame
of our vulvas,
our vaginas,
our mighty clitorii.
We can hardly speak their names, now,
except in mockery and disdain.
Once doorways to Heaven,
gateways to the Divine,
they are now taunted and insulted,
cleansed and shaved,
our womanhood tossed away
for the obsession of prepubescence,
too often sold for lascivious profit,
too often mutilated and manipulated,
or openly grabbed at leisure
by the spiritless and the vulgar.

We weep for the wounds
in our wombs,
our sacred place,
our holy place,
where life begins,
where all of life has always begun.
(Do you know your uterus’ name? Do you nurture it,
care for it, like your lips, your hair, your eyelashes?).
Now desecrated and violated,
policed and regulated
by those who will never know
the great joys and pains
of having one, or losing one,
or using one.

We carry millennia of trauma
in our blood,
a blood that has flowed for generations
building and growing new people and new nations.
Our blood is now inconvenient, unbearable,
unspeakable except in pictures of Woman
frolicking on the beach
finding ways to pretend
the Moon does not move her blood
as her ancestors’ were moved.
As all we women are moved.
Our moon-blood is now the-blood-of-man.
This, too, has been taken;
this story no longer our own.

How I mourn, dear sisters.

How I grieve every moon time
in my womb,
in my blood,
in my breasts,
in my heart.

I mourn for who we once were,
who we could’ve been.

I mourn that we no longer stand naked in the sun,
fearless,
dauntless,
wild as the wolves and the hawks,
secure in our womanhood,
rooted to the feminine Earth
to whose womb we will all return.
(We will ALL return.)

But in the bright light of the full moon
I also remember.

There was a time we were adored.

There was a time we were worshipped,
valued beyond the brightest gold,
cherished beyond the most precious gems.

We were honored for our ways.

We were exalted gatekeepers
of the Divine secrets and bearers
of the womanly mysteries.

There was a time we were
led by our wise women,
tutored by our sisters and aunties
with compassion and cooperation,
nourished by our mothers with bounteous breasts
in the daylight,
unashamed,
unflinching.

I remember.
My heart remembers.
My blood and womb and all of me remembers.

There was a time.

And so I hold that time in my heart,
in love,
in light,
in prayer,
so one day it may come again.

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