Pain is a gateway
through which I birth myself.
I come here to this portal within to pray,
to press my ear as close as I can bare to that hurting
and to beseech the song that lies behind,
the glorious part of me that the world said I could not be,
and the part of me that listened,
the part that needed and did not receive,
the permission to be whole or loved,
raucous or infinitely gentle,
alive and full,
powerful and expressed.
How many generations ago
did this prohibition come
to dwell within my cells?
So that now it is as though
some vast and incomprehensible energy
of primal freedom,
some raw and vital and powerful
embodiment of Woman,
has been packaged away
in this clumsy and bewildered container
of my own mortal flesh,
the unlived lifetimes bound and gagged,
caged and restrained like a wild thing denied,
the energy required to hold it there
an exhausting entreaty to smallness,
and yet so fierce the holding
so crippling the fear
of releasing that which has no face yet weeps,
she who has no mouth yet wails within
like a siren song,
The pain is the edge of the knife blade,
between who I am told to be
and who I long to become,
I walk it like a tightrope dancer.
The pain is the eye of the needle
through which the cloth of me is sewn,
patched and pieced together
over the years of my own becoming
who I might truly be.
The cloth soaked and stained
with my tears and blood,
the juice of my sex
and the milk of my mother heart,
those rivers that will not be stemmed.
It is frayed and stretched
where I have gathered it so tightly around me
to hide from the world,
as though if I could I might make myself
invisible to the eyes of others,
as I keen to the unfolding of my deeply hidden self.
Stilling the voice that would build the pyre
of my own persecution.
Beseeching the Mother within and the Father too,
to bare witness with full presence
to this agonizing birthing of self,
full woman born.
I long to feel the great ecstatic crowning
of my own emergence
and that first primal, vital breath of my full self
alive upon the earth.
And yet what remains
are these rhythmic contractions
of my own becoming,
seemingly as relentless as the surging
of the ocean’s tide,
rolling around like the ebb and flow
of the moon’s light,
the rise and fall of the seasons
and the mystical workings
of the inside of my womb.
What I hear is the relentless call to listen
at the gateway of my own searing,
to the parts of me still folded tight
in the caul of their own gestation,
as I slowly summon the courage
to say Yes to the all of me,
with the full throated song of my courage.
Until the day when
no matter what you think of me,
no matter how much my shining pokes at your own pain,
I will wear this patched together garment of my own making,
this birthing blanket that so many hands have tended,
and so many moons and years
of laboring have engendered,
and I will wear it with the radiant pride
of this regal reclamation of the whole of me,
clean and sleek and as wondrously Other
as a new-born babe.
Lucy Pierce © 2013
Lucy Pierce © 2013