Woman Who Waits

Last night, I was held captive,
a kitchen slave tied to the galley amidst
formal rooms upon rooms between floors
upon floors,
half dead among pots and pans
cooking for some nameless man who
ignored me in his big house.
For years I disappeared—search party had given up
until a young girl found me, took me by the hand
and led me out.


Last night, I was a rich lady putting on airs
at Neiman Marcus, hair covered in swathes of
white fabric that showed my pedigree,
customary for well-to-do ladies like myself—
that is, in dreams.

That is, until I looked in the mirror and saw
the disheveled, smeared made up face, the aging lines,
panicked I would be seen and
scouring floor to floor for makeup counters that would save me.

This was my dream.
Messages from the underworld of my soul—
pay attention, please!

Not washer woman, not rich woman,

but woman in first light’s chill scrambling
up slick footed, moss covered knolls
to revel in maiden recital of dew coated starlings and sparrows.
Woman rapt with awe in amazement’s cloak—
slack-jawed, eye struck watching
as sun climbs by slivers just past mountain’s top.
A woman witness to riotous revelry
heralding birth of first light—all of nature lifting its head
to sing in intemperate praise!

Not this—slave, drudge or drone of days, I am free!
Not this—above or below, but equal to the breadth and width of my days.
I am this— woman, who waits,
if there is a way,
to translate on to page such thinly skinned, sacred splendor,
my soul eager, breath-held in rapture as I wait.
Toes dug in mud, stars and soul tangled together, I wait.
Exultant life in sun and starlings and first morning’s light
coursing through my veins,
its blood bleeding on to page.


Shoshana Wolfington is a lifelong writer and poet living in Portland, Oregon. Her blog is called Dear Miracle

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