January 17, 2014

Sorrow and Her Embrace

Her Embrace                                                                                 Lucy Pierce


Today I have no strength to hide
and I give you the sorrow
that flowers in the garden of my soul.
Though I try to hide her face from you
she dances with me always
making my movements slow and cumbersome,
as though there were a full grown child
hiding beneath my skirts.
It hurts me to say I am ashamed of her,
longing to be the happiness the world asks of me.
"How are you?" you ask,
and "Good" I reply,
as I feed piecemeal morsels
to the rambunctious child of my suffering,
hoping you will not notice the far away look in my eye,
as though she did not breath with me in every breath,
as though she were not pulling me ever down,
down to the ocean floor of my being,
always asking more of me,
so that I am only ever partially present to this up-side life.
Always she breaks me, opens me,
smashing my tender skin on the brittle rocks of my history,
again and again she submerges me,
as "Enough!" I cry,
again and again she births me back to you,
with new eyes with which to see.
In hiding her face it is my own face I hide,
as with an anguish I hope that you do not notice
that I don't belong here amongst you,
hoping that you don't notice the bruises and welts,
the gashes and cuts,
of my dance with her.
How persistent her befriending,
how brutal my futile resistance.
Hidden from the world, I retreat,
allowing her out to dance her dance
of death and life within me,
and the eons pass in that place
of my grappling to learn her step.
We emerge, disheveled and bewildered
to see that all the world is changed,
moved on without me.
And down we dive again,
my heart her loyal mistress.
She wants me clean and clear and free,
she wants me stripped and pliant and awake,
she will take nothing less of me as we wrestle in the deep.
Her tears strip the plaque of my own deceit.
She would have me be nothing, if not something true.
“How are you?” You ask
and I say “I am sorrow.”
for I am the full-grown child beneath her skirts.

Lucy Pierce © 2014


  1. Your honesty and poetry are so deeply moving, Lucy. And your art, too. I feel honored to have discovered you today, and hold a piece of light, a little round, glowing crystal of it, in my hands, extending it out to you. May sorrow release you into new places of learning soon. May the beauty that her learning has birthed in you - continues to birth in you - change us all.

    1. Blessings on your generous heart Kristen, your gift of light is gratefully received.