still in me

i sleep
twelve
12
hours every night because i have lived
so long as lion
and my lion is still in me.
i purr at your touch,
expect no help from men.

i scream
and
rage
at any restraint
because i have lived so long
behind locked doors. in tight jackets. in cages
physical and social and psychological
and the hysterical, broken, raging woman
is still in me.
i swing wildly at your tight grip,
expect no good from men.

i yearn
toward
rampage, destruction
because i have lived so long as sekhmet
and that raging lion, set afire and set loose
by her menfolk - she is still in me.
i tense at your caress,
display the strength always needed
in dealings with men.

i contract
and
raise shields
because i have lived so long as she who
broke and fled her body at the crushing
grip of violent men. and the
violated
shredded
lost-to-herself somehow-surviving woman
is still in me.
i avoid letting you see
the wide open, savannah expanse of me,
and always
underneath
expect betrayal from men.

still
beyond
each
point of horror in pasts recent and ruined
i have lived so long as the load-bearing,
vulnerable
fucking courageous
fertile
claiming sex        claiming pride
claiming strength
full of glory woman  despite _____. despite.
that i come to you with determination, hand extended
on our path
of change
as humans.

Comments

angelweed said…
This left me in tears of grief and joy. Thank you.
hennalion said…
thanks yarrow. it has been a good working for me, and is partially in response to reading a book 'woman and nature' - which i am still reading, as it's hard to get through.