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Bens Feminine Journey pic

She isn’t quite a friend
of mine, a bead of light,
a trickle, spark…I see her
in the silence when I step
outside, and outside hasn’t
noticed yet. A grip of cold,
a rise of sweat, she carries
her own weather and dispenses
like a medic from a space
shaped like a sack that smells
of cardamom varieties
of pills, some bitter,
mostly sweet, a few
that taste of offal grilled—
quite awful till one gets beyond
the need to cluster-rhyme
at every friggin’ trill and turn.

She’s not my Mum
or Grandma, though she
knows the matrilinea from
whence I came down to their
baby toes, and in a pinch
could stand for me and often
has, when heels and early
graves I’ve dug. She’s not
a ghost, though scare you
out your wits she will when
fancy strikes, and haunt
surrounding tables at posh
restaurants until my date
and I are quite alone. She’s
shown the way when I’ve
been lost more times than I
can shake my sticks at, then
she elevates my thoughts to
grasp, however briefly, that
the path is always cleared
well in advance. If I’d be less
a scaredy pants and more a
glad participant, her sight
and mine would true align,
and life would furl before me
like a set design, a plan divine,
divined by me and her with
opposites and shadows central
cast. Of future, present, past
she is my every person, place,
and thing, my noun renowned
and infinite, she is my anima.
You have one, too.


© Elaine Stirling, 2014
Image by Ben Stirling, ©2005