poetry

Woman Rising. {poetry}

I ache for the voices of women. I am so tired of the voices of others constantly drowning her out, drowning us out, telling us who to be, how to be in this world.

Defining for us what is beauty, what is femininity. Declaring our value based on how well we perform in a monotonous, unoriginal drama we had no hand in writing. Describing, over and over, their achievements, their ambitions, their faith, as though we have no stories of our own. As though we don’t have a rich, beautiful, complex her-story that belongs just to us.

Sister, can you hear your own voice, or are the suppressed screams suffocating you, struggling to burst out from the depths of you? No one will grant us our freedom from this ridiculous box of patriarchal perfection other than ourselves… other than our own voices, rising for different reasons perhaps, in different tones and languages, but sharing a common message: Enough.

We will not play this game. We will not define our beauty based on a sick culture’s lies. We will not break our bodies to take care of everyone else’s needs. And we will not disappear. Enough. Sister, rise with me. Rise with me, in all your furious, broken, ecstatic glory. Rise with me, and let’s begin. Together, let’s build something beautiful and new.

I.

Woman.
Stupid, vain, shallow.
Paint your face
Paint your nails
Paint yourself
into a corner.

Heels high
Hold your head high
(not too high)
Ask for permission
Ask for forgiveness
for reminding others you exist.

Woman.
Aim for perfection, always.
Suck it in
Slice it open
Suction it out
Offer it up on a platter of sex.

Your best won’t be good enough
But still,
Have it all
Do it all
Be it all
Never admit it’s a myth
Even as the façade
suffocates you from the ground up.

Woman.
Give, give, give.
Sacrifice yourself
on the altar of your choice —
family, motherhood, marriage, career.
Whatever you do,
don’t make it about you.

Old woman.
No one sees you
No one hears you
No one wants to fuck you.
Disappear.

II.

The woman in the corner
The one who is always alone
The one with wild hair
and lined face
The one who exists beyond the boundaries of time
who refuses to accept
the wisdom of the Chorus
rises
and with a quiet voice that deafens
says simply,
Enough.

Sister, I see you.
All of you.
Your light could illuminate the world
or burn this whole house down —
your choice.

Walls will not contain you.
Thoughts will not confine you.
Their story will not define you.
A language of greed has no power
over ferocious love.

Sister, expand with me.
Grow large
Larger still
Occupy all the space
that is yours to claim.

Raise your head.
Raise your voice.
Raise your wings.
Claim your rightful place
among the gods we’ve made.
You are as sacred as they.

Sister, finish the job.
Shatter the myths.
Break the fucking mirror
with the audacity
of your beauty

and when you’re ready,
let’s begin.

***

Elizabeth Childs Kelly is a writer, Goddess educator, yoga instructor, mother of two, and an unabashed lover of the Divine Feminine. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Home to Her: Rediscovering the Ancient Wisdom of the Sacred Feminine. You could connect with her on Instagram, and join the conversation about the Divine Feminine on Facebook.

***

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