Because it’s my birthday…

I am posting this raw, unfinished, unedited birthday…thing (poem? maybe someday). If you are a child, a judger, or easily shocked, you might want to just move on.

Edges dedicated to my friend Terry Perrell who demands I write, even without meth

On the waning edge of the sun’s highest day

On the waning edge of my mother’s great beauty

On the waning edge of a marriage

I came.

Edges seem to define my life, always

On edge, on the verge of some new

Project, argument, adventure

Sometimes over the edge, falling

Scrabbling, clawing for a hand hold

Or just falling, smiling, knowing that

The fall is the fun part

Having done it so many times before.

Here. This Day. This edge which leans

Me toward fifty, is a new one. Another waning,

Waning woman, invisible woman.

Waning color, everything emptying to gray.

Waning interest in the things and dramas of this world.

Leaning a little more each year toward spirit

the unseeable, the unknowable, searching for the next fall

over the edge. Wondering where I will land,

thinking maybe I can fly down this time,

land in the land of the Anasazi or the Cherokee

some mountain cove or canyon, with clear water

that makes a constant, soothing sound.

Here I will weave a blanket made of the stories

Collected along the way. Stories of Scottish rainbows,

Near death experiences and one of a walk with an English boy

On the day of my sixteenth birthday

In the Lake Country, which I didn’t take but wish I had.

Birth stories for my children, honoring stories for my grandparents,

Stories given to me as gifts, regifted so they will live

Beyond those who first told them. A story of my ancestor

Who ran blockade for the Confederacy and another, farther,

Who went to war at 13, a drummer boy, to be with his

father and who died making our country.

I will weave together the edges of our lives.

You will see the beauty of this blanket even as I

Become no more than the spirit trail, nearly invisible

Running through it,  raw end hanging just a bit farther

Than any other at the edge so that the spirit within

Can escape and carry on.


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
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