Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mirror, Me

This is an incredibly expressive poem.  I think most women will find that his poem touches a chord in them, in the place where our mystery resides, often covered with a veneer of socialized shame.

Mirror, Me
by Kathleen Landerman, from the book Pagan's Muse.

Breathing in, I am
one with my shame.

Fear to look holds my whole body
immobile; my weight holds me
with more than gravity.

Breathing out, I am
my ugliness.

Vile, wretched, contemptible thing.
If the Way is Love,
then I should not speak of these things
to myself.

Breathing in, I am
my body.

If I gaze only at the reflection
of my pale belly,
then I will not see myself cry.

Breathing out, I am
this image.

If I light candles,
and do not think of you,
then I can see a goddess
full of adundant harvests,
round and smiling,
in my thighs.

Through the smoke of incense
these curves change,
become secrets,
invitations in velvet Braille.

If there was another woman here,
we could whisper the secret,
tell each other why a mirror
conquered a gorgon.

Breathing in, I am
no longer turned to stone
with shame, regret.

Breathing out, I am--
I am.

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