My Own Key
She never claimed to be more than a Woman,
For what possesses more grace than a Woman--
No vessel contains more beauty than a Woman,
She has always intrinsically known.
Although at times She could be found
Postured behind a painted silk screen,
If, for a moment, Self effacing,
Soon enough, again, Yearning
For the scenery:
A panorama still containing unknown colors,
A beauty deserving to sing,
To be sung by Herself:
For no one can sing it more knowingly
And no one can name the origin of every scar
Feel the weight of the turquoise ring,
Fibrous blue and brown and green,
Feel Her Grandfather's key on a ribbon
Warmed by Her life against Her chest,
As She does.
This topography is sacred: It cannot be touched
Or traversed by Any One;
A map cannot be made by Any One;
There is not a soul versed in Its dominion.
Her wing can only be brushed by
An Innocent's wing
Deeply bluely nocturnal and Pure
She can only be cradled
By a hand that knows Its own.
A hand that knows Its own bliss
And Its own woe.
She can only be seen by eyes
That have known Their own.
And recognized what Their own have shown,
And known it to be true,
And to be good.
Tried by every element
And found to be clean as the sea:
Still a burned thing,
A buried thing,
A strewn and blown thing,
A drowned thing.
All of these She herself
Has been, to struggle up
To the surface, Bearing a key,
Meant never for any other to keep:
Meant not for a lock or
To unlock any other Soul,
Meant not to be given but
Loved softly, Kept.
Hard-won through the only test,
The most exacting test:
Her heart once a crushed nautilus;
At the vital moment
A seal struggling free from a net:
And Once on shore a Woman,
Kelp in Her basket,
With a key around Her neck.
By merit Hers
As all must earn Their own.