April Windstorm on Mountain Cliff (for Diana)


This poem, composed years ago, represents a core part of my transformative healing journey, that culminated in 100 percent total forgiveness.

You were with me on the mountain top
when I blew him away–
my spirit spiralling out of me.

All day I felt a windstorm rising inside
like the weather outside
like the shrub in the yard
I watched from our car, waiting
as you posted your business note, flapping
to the Sexual Violence Center door.

I saw how that tattered shrub
swayed and shook as if
about to uproot, levitate,
tumble away,
the dry earth
heaving her up
to the high rasping wind
to the great open sky.

Some part of me cavernous and huge
longed to join with her–
embrace the howling air,
careen toward freedom and release.

Some part of me knew
I was the naked shrub
torn from the tips
of my roots in the earth,
abandoned to the wind and sky,
rolling up the mountainside now.

You were with me on the mountain top
when I shook like the shrub
and howled like the wind —
gusting, groaning, shivering, puffing,
as if something were lifting
rushing all the way up
from my roots, off my bones,
through my skin
to vanish in the whirling air.

You were with me on the mountain top
as I stood over the canyon
of loss and despair,
puffing a loud, gold trumpet
of rich, roaring dissonance.

You were with me
when I blew him out of me,
when I blew him away
with a dragon’s breath blazing
again and again
as he reeled toward me–
matching blow for blow
what he struck against my soul.
with his sodden lust–
this man, my father.

Gasping and puffing,
I roared and I flailed
against his oozing, staggering, sickening force.
I drove his body into the canyon wall,
entombing him a thousand times
until I could no more,
until my spirit collapsed into the still air.

You were with me
as we clambered down
the mountain slope
to drop down at last
into a soft green meadow bed
where we fell asleep
in the deep, tall grass,
the moon already risen,
the spectacular galactic night upon us,
and my spirit now soaring to the stars
to dance like a warrior.


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