My child-self on the old brick stair
white dandelion hearted
I left her there to find the fate
of wishes made on windswept whirls
They will build mosaics in the sky
for our belated reunion. My girlhood and I
fallow in a house of waiting
The Twenty Fifth Sunday
Her girlhood game of spinning to fall tilted on the warm cut grass
in snail-paced ancient wonder. This was the miracle
how gravity could hold her. A force grounded counter-
balanced. The perceived stillness of a flying planet
across the arc of time she emptied her calendar
found herself lost her mind. No plan came true
through years of shelter greed justice
crime only a world giving birth to night and day
horizons draw death from life. Between her suburban
church and the shattered earth, her hymnal hit the floor
in ordinary time
I’ve written quite a few poems with Lilith as the voice. She’s always showing up in my mind, and I consider her a muse. Recently I was told that I’ve made her too vulnerable. She needs to be a “feminist.”
I’ve been thinking about this a great deal. After all, I believe my poetry is reflective of my femininity. Have I misrepresented Lilith? She’s been walking the landscape of collective psychology much longer than feminist theory, and I believe she deserves the layers of an epic hero.
And then it occurred to me that the word “feminist” has been equated to strength, and the word “vulnerable” to weakness…and that we value strength above weakness. That both strength and weakness can’t live together in the same person.
I disagree. Let’s look at brave vs afraid. When a soldier steps into battle, is he not braver if he does so in the face of his fear? In fact, without fear, such an act seems potentially closer to reckless.
So yes, my Lilith is vulnerable. She is the stronger because she has (at least in her private musings) admitted it. Lilith steps into the world alone in the face of her vulnerability, and that is what makes her strong.