home to my self

with you, i lost my self.
i drifted slowly, inexorably…
bound by fear and hope,
intertwined and inseparable.
tethered by convention and covenant
and by my need to satisfy myself:
i will have done all that i could do.
together and yet alone,
the one to make accommodation,
subsumed by your expectations
of inexhaustible understanding.
time and again you extracted
my pledge to stand to you.
and stand to you i did
— to my own peril.
oh, yes! i was useful.

and at the last i saw you —
unmasked, naked in your contempt.

you may not yet know,
but you are undone.
and i am reborn.
for without you,
i have come home to my self.

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fragile hope

all the times he wounds me
at the heart and mind of me
and i say nothing,
i let it slide
hoping and clinging —
not to him of course —
but to compassion,
this higher purpose that says
you, child, are the stronger
— you understand…
and there is good, too, yes?

but what else do i understand?

i understand that for too long
have i held fragile hope
in trembling hands
and unwound the thread
making space for pain

i understand the picture
i paint for my legacy:
in colors washed by tears it says,
hanging on to fragile hope
is a woman’s obligation

what disservice i do, then,
to cultivate patience
i am no stoic
where is the compassion
for me and my loves?

just now, sister Red Tail flew
across my view, low to the ground
as if to say
you will fly solo
but never alone