the rainmaker said, Who are you?
as they squatted in the half-light around the new fire
faces flicked by blue and halogen
the light colder and deeper than before
Who are you? and I could not think
I could not say, for a long time
my bones would not speak it or hear it spoken.
So I stepped back, into the dark
where blue birds and books and the many truths (and lies) people speak do not reach
but it nagged. it nagged and nagged and would not be silent
this question: Who are you? Who?
so I opened the door, and let the words flow through
and they said:
I am a mother, to my core I am, down in the deeps; but
The way I love these my children is beyond speaking. Words are pitiful.
All I can say is It is, and send it out.
I am a lover of people, oh yes; but
I am tied tight with the ropes of self-doubt. It is easier, by far,
To connect without connecting, here in the shadowlands, than in the real.
I am full of dreaming, yes; but
My dreams are so transparent, so soft and frail, like summer flowers, that
To speak them kills them. So I hold them in secret.
I am a humanist. I believe in the humanity of everyone; but
Though I lift my voice (and my life) where I can, it is not enough
and it falls like seed in stony ground, to be eaten by birds.
My body is not brave; like
A house-mouse I hide in corners, seeking safety and solace,
Fearful of being hurt, or causing it.
I am a writer. I am a poet.
There is no hesitation to these words,
I know them to be true
to be my truth
the only one I can say and shout and own in my heart
the only one words can express, because it is the only one born in language
the words making real
the words I make
so I creep back to the campfire, and I say:
I am mother, lover, human, timid,
and writer. And that is my song
for now and for tomorrow
for as long as the words break free.
- Kathy, 9/6/12