In My Skin

My skin
has not been my home
since I toddled
on pudgy legs
and tumbled
through strawberry plants
all rosy and sweet.

Like a doll
I have been undressed,
re-dressed,
overly-dressed,
and left bare and barren
on a mound
of airy pleasantries.

Like a puppet
I have been pierced,
and split,
and strung,
fingered and crumpled
by the careless
will of others.

But my womanhood
reclaims me.

My body
remembers home,
remembers its conception song.

In my skin again
I move like the tiger,
sensual,
effortless,
secure in my stripes.

In my skin again,
I breathe like the dragon,
fierce,
fiery,
burning away
the dead and the dying
falseness of me.

Let the doll lay down to rest
and bless her weary spirit.

Let the strings fray and fall
and bless them for their reign.

I am in my skin now.

I am a Sister of the Sun and the Sky now.

Stardust ripples on my skin.

My feet leave drops of moonlight for the wind to kiss.

I speak my own name.

I rest in the wombplace of my own love.

I am home.

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Near to You

I say to you

My star
My heart
My guiding light
My pulse of life

If I ever go
I am still so near

Always near to you.

With every blink of your eyes,
every smile on your lips,
in your walk, in your cries,
in the strength of your hips
I walk beside you.

You are life.

I am love.

Always, I am near to you.

I run in your blood.
I dance in your braids.
I sing on your skin.
I bathe in your name.

I am always near,
in the joy,
in the fear.

My sweet love.

Forever, I am near to you.

I Promise

I will be
your anchor
in the raging ocean waves.

I will be
your roots
in
in howling winds.

I will be
your warmth on the
darkest, coldest nights;

your shelter from
the hottest, fiery blaze.

Change

Somewhere beneath
your guilt and regret
you changed.

Somewhere beyond
my bitterness and blame
I changed.

Somehow in a moment
of unburdened love
we changed

And made peace
on the battlefield
to which
for too long
we’ve been chained.

And I can breathe again.

The Good Life

Sweet kisses
Morning smiles
Belly laughs
Long walks
Holding hands
Honest words
Comfy silence
The warm sun
A cool breeze
The kind of rain that clears away anything darkening your soul
Wonder
Awe
Possibilities
Relaxation
Pleasure
Lightness
Softness
Deliciousness
Ease
Learning
Changing
Growth
Trust

Most of all…
Love

I Love You Enough

I love you enough
to love your freedom
as much as I love my own.

To stand aside and
not block the sun. It’s my
honor to watch you grow.

I love you enough
to support every wish,
every wild idea, every dream.

I’ll lift you up
above my shoulders to
reach as far as you can see.

I love you enough
to know you’re borrowed.
I claim no ownership of your life.

But until the day
I take my last breath I’ll
say a prayer for you every night.

And when I am gone
I’ll love you enough to
keep my memories of you in my mind

so when I meet our Maker
I’ll thank him (or her)
for giving me the greatest love of my life.

On Tenderness

I would never call myself a tender person. Ever. I can’t recall a time in my life when I could have been described as tender. Gentle, perhaps. Kind, maybe. But tender …

Tenderness contains clear connotations of softness, lightness, and depths of sensitivity as yet untouched by me. It implies an absence of rough edges and sharp corners and hardness, all of which I carry in abundance in my soul.

How does one reach tenderness when it lies beyond such a harsh environment? Better to leave it alone, untouched, unexplored. Better to not reach so deep for something I have yet to find necessary or useful.

Until now.

It seems that when I had my daughter, she popped up on the other side of my hardness and sharpness in the sweet, flower-filled field of lavender tenderness. For the last four weeks she’s invited me, called to me, and ultimately demanded me to reach beyond all I dislike about myself in order to meet her there.

To do so, I’ve had to put down plenty of fear, anger, guilt, frustration, worry, self-doubt … baggage too heavy to make the journey to tenderness where the new young soul of my infant basks in the untainted sun. The journey isn’t easy. The terrain is ever-changing. Just when I think I’ve conquered one dark thought, another pops out from around the corner like the nightmare version of whack-a-mole.

But do I have a choice? Don’t I want to see my daughter for who she is, not who I see through my broken and wounded glasses? Isn’t she worth it, to meet her in all her divinity, her pristine, youthful beauty? She’s tiny and intelligent, aware and opinionated … a small but fully-fledged human being who deserves my respect, my love, and all the best of me.

Yet all she asks is a little tenderness. I’m proud to say … I’m doing my best.

Good Morning

Sitting in the quiet of the world,
embraced by the waning dark of night,
I think of you and I want to say –
“Good morning…

Look what joys life continues to bring!
Hear the songs my heart’s learning to sing!”
Then I remember you’re not here on this
good morning.

So I whisper my words to the sky,
as the darkness gives way to the light,
and I still my aching heart,
ever mourning.

Let the day come as it may.
Let life pass, let my soul age.
‘Til we meet again, I’ll greet you in my thoughts
each morning.

Words

If words were enough
I’d take the time
to speak the words of
thanks in my heart.

Thank you for seeing me for who I think I am.
Thank you for seeking, each moment, to understand.
Thank you for supporting every dream I have planned.
Thank you for telling me I can.

If words were enough
I’d take the time
to speak the words of
love in my heart.

I love you for sharing a part of my life.
I love you for listening late into the night.
I love all your strength, kindness, and insight.
I love you for shining so bright.

If words were enough
I’d take the time
to speak the words of
truth in my heart.

I don’t know if I’m worthy of your faith,
but I’ll strive to be worthy anyway.
With your support I’m a little less afraid.
In your arms I feel more safe.

If words were enough
I’d take the time
but there’s depths even
words can’t go.

Let me pour myself out
through this pen instead
and give you a piece of
my soul.

Walk with it lightly.
Don’t hold it too tight.
Be gentle. Be tender.
Take care.

Know that, should you need me
to stand by your side,
say the word and
you’ll find me there.