mary of the glass

Mary of the Glass

You make this complicated

Look at my hands.
They have always been a boat
Or a bed.
These hands give birth
And tend to death.
They stretch across the river
For you to walk along
And still
You call me mother and put me on a shelf.
You forget I am your sister,
Your midwife,
Your heart.
You forget that I know pain as sharp
As the tip of a blade
running through the tongue.
You forget that I know suffering,
That I said yes to it, agreed.

One night I was dreaming with the window open.
The air was inky jasmine;
Stars danced on my breath.
I believed that I had wings,
Gossamer – like a damselfly.
Wafer thin.
An angel pressed his hand across my breast.
You’ve been called, he said.
And there I was,
already dreaming I was magic,
So young there was no name for me.
I opened my mouth to the word of God
And let it pour through me like shattered glass.
It permeated every cell,
Quickened in my blood.
Say yes, the angel whispered, holding me in his light,
And I said it of my own free will, knowing,
But not knowing.
How could I know the pain I would endure?
How could I know what was possible?
But I walked it – open and alive.

And now you put me in the sky,
Forgetting the mud caked on my feet.
You think I’m not there –
In your crown of thorns,
On the bridge where you thought about jumping,
Your toes dangling over the deep of night;
In the bar where you got drunk
And spit your truth
And stumbled home with
Marks of shame pricking at your cheeks.
You think I’m not there –
In the wail of your prison cell,
The loneliness like a vacuum,
The worst mistake you ever made;
The time you betrayed the only one
Who ever really loved you;
The zero of your bank account;
The latest broken promise;
The sour taste of jealousy;
The bitter ache of grief.
You think I don’t know what it is
To stand powerless on the road and watch
While everything you love is destroyed?
You think I don’t know regret?
That stinging salt?
There’s not an ocean big enough to hold my pain.
But I survive.
I love.
And that is the secret.

There is a love that’s bigger
Than all the damage done,
The lies you tell,
Stacking them neatly, one on top of the other.
There is a love that’s bigger
Than the bottomless pit you dig to hide in.
It’s bigger than any name you call me
Or any choice you ever made,
And it changes everything.

You make this complicated,
But I promise you, it isn’t.

Give me a glass of wine.
Sit with me in the grass.
I’ll open my mouth.
You pour the heartache in.