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She Who Survives

August 24, 2009

I stumbled across this in one of my many books when I was trying to survive a difficult week/month/year, hell, a difficult life at this point.  It really helped and spoke to quite a few of the things that I’ve been dealing with lately so I thought it needed to be shared.

The Limping Goddess:  She-Who-Survives

by Pesha Joyce Gertler, 1983

She limps into the room
     bent with the cargo of rape, battering
     single-parent mothering and bureaucratic neglect
     if she is fat or gay or nonwhite or Jewish
     the pains multiply;
she has carried them all.

Her lotus feet have trudged this planet
for aeons; torn tennis shoes tell
how far she’s traveled. She hunches
against the winter wind, her second-hand
coat like a blanket she wraps around
her golden body. Occasionally, she flies
over buildings, lands on tree tops,
is mistaken for a fat bird.

And occasionally, she falls,
intensifying her limp. But make no mistake;
that golden skin was mined in the black earth,
her feet, though limping and calloused,
are the lotus feet of She-Who-Survives.
A broken yet shining forgotten deity
returning, and there are millions
like her, multi-colored, limping
Goddesses returning to lay down our cargo
and reclaim our own.

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