smell of that lethargic stand of great trees, rich and black,
filled me with an unfamiliar sense of safety and belonging. Old
growth on a lake in northern Michigan was a once-a-year sanctuary
for me when I was a little girl. I rowed along the shores to the
belly-deep cries of the frogs. As evening descended, the loons
called. I had no age or affliction here and there were no blows
raining down upon me, nor insults, nor the opressive knowledge
that I would "get it" no matter what, even if I begged, even if
I kept silent and hid in my toy oven with the muffled sound of
my own heart.
sanctity of this place was all that I had. I stood in the groves
where bears and a few remaining wild turkeys passed and breathed
in the air where trees grew ancient and died and more trees grew
from their carcasses.
years old. Five years old. Six, seven, eight.The beatings stopped
when we left the man my father but never the sense of oppression,
claustrophobia. Then the panic attacks.
coudn't go back; we were too poor to come anymore.
could remember, though, I could draw it up through me like a straw.
I could squeeze from my memory a love and safety that would never
leave me. Bloody nose, ugly, rat-faced fat girl.
came the deathwish and the hospitals.
forgot how to breathe.
am there again, I can breathe.
family sells the property. Now I am a woman. I have changed my
name to that of my home; my family the forest approves: loam.
have a little girl of my own now; no blows, no insults, no man
greets her. My heart beats loud and gladly. My love ... Oh, sister...
This is a story from the yOni
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