Swish

By Amy Marchand Collins

Swish. Swish.

A swirl of blackness, gone already before you realize she is here.

Wounded.

Leviathan.

In the deepest depths.

Lashing out.

Angry.

Betrayed!

Well, yes.

She was.

And she scarcely knows which she wants more: to howl with grief and rage and pain or lash out in anger.

And I allow her none of it.

Instead, I push her down.

Confine her to this small, dark space.

Where she cannot be heard.

And I will not listen.

And instead she has to witness while I “smile”

And react “professionally”

Like an adult.

But inside

A grievously wounded dragon is gathering her wings beneath her.

When she takes the sky

Take cover.

You who deserve her wrath may yet feel it.

She is kind

But even kindness has its limits

And she is reaching hers.

So I will go and sit with her just as Innanna went eventually to sit by the grieving, laboring body of her sister, Ereshkigal.

And I will let her know how sorry I am that she was hurt. And worse, that her gorgeous, wrathful Beauty is not welcome in this world.

She belongs to the Elder time

When Goddesses walked and dragons roamed freely.

But St. George killed all the dragons

And Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland

They built a religion and a worldview that revered death rather than life.

Instead of the soul-renewing cycles of the Mother’s Wheel, we have boxes and boxes

Swords and guns (Phalluses all)

To exact the land’s tribute in blood.

What women give freely each month with no discernible wound, man takes instead through death, destruction, rape and pillage.

But driven underground though they may be, the pulses of a thousand thousand turns of the wheel echo down through the centuries.

And we women find ourselves at turns parched by the desert heat

Or drowning in the astronomical spring flood.

Longing for the wisdom from before the time of boxes.

When we all knew enough to listen to the wise women.

And there was space for dragons to fly in the open air.

The flood washes the fertile soil down from the frozen places and deposits it on the fields, renewing them.

Our grandmother’s grandmothers learned quickly enough that seeds planted in that thick, black soil would sprout quickly. And that when they returned to that place they could harvest the fruits of what they had planted.

Soon they ventured shorter and shorter distances, for the land itself yielded abundance to support them.

And this was the beginning of leaving behind our nomadic wandering ways.

The cyclic floods, so like the predictable rhythms of women’s bodies brought life and greenery to the desert.

And gave birth to civilization.

Swish.

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