wise woman

now i am a wise woman
having learned that
i know nothing
except how to take their hands
and lead them through the maze of pressure
and blood
up winding mountain paths
urging them forward though they want to rest
finding a safe place to shelter them;
“rest now,” i whisper,” just a little,”
offering sips of water
though they are not boxers
and this is not a ring
i am wise to the ways
of love and birth;
know that it is a worthy journey,
and they are ready
having discarded boots and gloves,
bravely digging toes into the damp earth
their fingers find purchase
in rocky places
and i am there to rub their hands,
tell them “yes, it hurts, like love,
like life, and you are strong,
your tribe is all humanity;”
i am blessed to make this journey
many times over
to know the terrain,
to jog along easy summer trails with
the hurried ones,
birthing like breathing,
to grapple and belay up arduous cliffs
met unexpectedly,
but fearlessly
by other parents,
their brows furrowed and sweat-soaked,
but hopeful, so hopeful,
for the waiting joy;
i know life,
how it hangs precious
in the gaps…
i wait for it,
coax it,
sometimes bargain with it,
i am firm with life,
commanding it,
i am soft with it,
easing precious new being from warm
uterine cave,
to place on exhausted parent’s chest,
and smile,
and whisper
“welcome, we have been waiting for you.”

1sagefemme All Rights Reserved 2016

 

Part 2: Daddy

Rewind:

Sifting sifting through the muck
for signs of love
i find you, Daddy,
in bed on a Saturday morning
two little ones wrapped around your torso
i am the one clinging to your shoulder
jeffrey is trying to ride you,
you snort and whinny
toss him high
screeching with laughter.

Fade…
hopping over egg-shells
through mud and worms,
falling into a stormy sea
and you
you are a buoy
we cling to
marking the perimeter
of sanity
but you are a slippery savior
one minute solid,
the next shadow in mist
and then gone
and we four splashing, cling solemnly, uncrying
best we can
to childhood.

I channel you
singing softly to my babies at night
rub their ear lobes gently to wake them,
as you did,
they call me Mommy,
and gaze up at me full of hope and love,
but I am more you than her.

You were beaten down by her too
monster-mouth mother wife
she made you dumb
you gave up the fight
but here’s the thing, Daddy

You did not protect us

And I understand,
because my babies
are in a stormy sea
and I am their bouy,
though they don’t yet know it,
and every other Wednesday
I abandon them,
And I understand now
that sometimes it is out of our hands.

1Sagefemme All Rights reserved 2016