Poet’s Corner – Maiden

By Marialouisa Monda

I remember in my past life I was once a swan, 

long-necked and hissing as if my true form is a serpent. 

Even then, I knew the danger of my girlhood slipping away. 

I was not ready for the fall. 

It did not matter how I strayed away from forbidden fruit – 

certainly not a taste of a single pomegranate seed 

or the hint of my secret heart-name.  

In those days, a long time ago, I was beautiful like any girl or woman. 

My feathers were taken as easily as they would my self-esteem,

even now, I wear little makeup, I cover my skin and body as if I am deeply scarred. 

No – no – 

I have been dissected open, from the skin to the atoms of who I am and once was. 

There are moments now when I find my long-lost feathers,  glowing like moonlight and clear quartz. 

Maybe – one day, I will create new wings – 

Little by little – I am biding my time. 

I gather all the feathers I can find, sometimes they are robins and blue jays, if I’m lucky, a hawk. 

Sometimes, I find clumps of fur, of wolf and raccoon, of bear and fox, remembering I am many things as I remake and find myself,

for we, women and girls, are breathing creation stories.

Top photo: Bigstock