today my chest tightens
meditation fails
anticipation like ice
creaks into blood and bones,
a meeting;
my gifted child
at five
contemplates the face
of god
at eight it’s punnett squares
for bedtime chatter,
so today, today
i will sit across from her,
the one who left,
the charismatic liar
the drinker
who stole more
than money
and discuss this child
and she will smile,
call me by an old, old
lover’s name
and pretend
like always,
to be human

1SageFemme All Rights Reserved 2017

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