Authentic Voice

by Glenda Taylor

I am a person acquainted with sorrow.
Remember that, as I manifest joy.

Undivided, the dark and the light,
The day and the night, course through me,
And you. And the true, the real,
The one actual thing, sings,
“I am all that, yes that,
And more than that I am, mystery
And majesty, undefinable and undeniable.”

I am a person well acquainted with grief,
Remember that as I manifest a
relentless hope.

In the midst of late killing frost,
Bright azaleas blasted and burnt up,
Young brilliant minds blasted and burnt up,
Here, there, everywhere.
Yet, I am, will be, receptive,
Being loved, as I am, I know,
By it all, by the winds,
The gentle winds, the fierce winds,
The speaking winds of all directions
That lift me, soaring, on wings,
My wings, made of the most fragile feathers,
Often torn, by tornado or breeze, these, all these.

Welcome or not, they are.

I am a person acquainted with madness,
With suicide, with mental decay, and
With withering soul crushing circumstances.
Remember that as I tell you about
Morning mists rising over mountaintops,
About violets and lilacs and even smaller
Tiny, tiny blooming yellows and blues,
There where no one sees in rocky cervices
On the edge of jagged northern seas.
And dandelions, dandelions breaking even
Through cracks in concrete just to catch
The wave of wind from speeding cars
Or to be plucked by earnest little boys
And smashed beneath a boot to smithereens.
Beauty becoming and destroying.

I am a person not separate from shame,
Having done, and left undone. Remember that
As I become again, and again, the child,
The innocent, shy, maybe smiling, eager child
I outgrew, I ungrew, into someone else,
But now I’m one who knows tenderness
to the bone, protective and fierce in my making space
For me to be, yet again, that innocent.

I am a person who shudders with fears of hurting,
Having done harm, wary. Remember that, as,
Yet again, I open, I will to open, myself to Self,
To some vast irrepressibly becoming
unknown and undivided larger and larger life.
This wide, rounded whole that is, however it is,
Dark and light, day and night, this, this all,
As it is, I love, I love, I love.

I am still here. I am. I have spoken. Again.