~Esther Mitchell, 2016~
In the photographs in my mind,
I see myself in all my Amazonian glory,
One hand on sword, one on staff,
My bow and arrows slung across chest and back,
As indomitable as I ever dreamed I could be,
As that little girl, hidden away in silence,
Until my beautiful Goddesses found me,
Breathed life, and power, and heart into me,
Lifted me up into my own raiment of deity,
Against the voices who said reclaiming my power was evil.
I want to speak with the voice of the Persian Queen trapped in my throat,
Held captive in my chest,
Beating to free herself from the cage bars of my ribs.
Not the Hebrew woman who feared a man’s wrath,
But the Persian Queen she birthed from her chest, her lips,
Drew like lightning from her eyes.
I want to feel her name — my name — in every pulse of my blood,
To hear that Queen whisper in the space between the beats,
The Queen who drew her own fear like a weapon,
Wrapped it like a cloak around herself and from it drew courage,
Turned that fear in a quiet storm upon those who believed her place,
To be anywhere, or anything, but loved and respected.
I want to be the lantern in the night,
An arm around the poor, the vulnerable, those yearning to breathe free,
To carry bandages to the bleeding, in all the battlefields,
Whether the battlefield is in the body, or mind,
To bind the wounds, be the medicine, give until there is nothing left of me,
And still be able to give some more.
I want to dry tears cried in pain,
Not because I can do nothing else,
But because I can do everything,
With love, compassion, and the courage that comes only from first knowing fear.
I want to march with arms linked and voices raised,
Side-by-side with all my sisters, whether by birth, or spirit, or Pride,
To hear our voices rebound with the power to break walls,
Rather than build them.
To sing out in one voice to all who would steal us away from ourselves,
“You can no longer have the night!”
“We take back our birthright, our magic, the hallowed blood in our veins!”
“You no longer have power over us!”
I want… I want someone to take pictures,
Not of this broken body,
Not of my shattered trust or destroyed dreams,
But of my immortal soul,
Singing of the magic of all the Feminine Mystery.
For I am at once both none and all of these things:
And, like every woman born,
I will use the label you brand me,
The fear you beat into me,
To teach all the Daughters of the Earth,
And their Daughters, into Eternity,
How not to be afraid.