by Debbie Cannatella
As a woman-maiden I was loved and
My breath stolen from me,
weather-beaten, wide-eyed, immobile,
my voice silenced with violence.
As a woman-wounded I was loved from a distance
for my new defenses steeled me,
and my walls too high to scale by mere men.
Fear-driven, the face I revealed was not mine.
As a woman-survivor I was loved with hesitation
by those just embarking on their journeys.
They came with their own wounds newly opened,
defensive and stinted by my guileless depth.
As a woman-demi-crone I am loved by choice
by one that acknowledges fantasy yet selects actuality.
My breath given back to me, shared in circular intimacy.
Blending strong selfhood with child-wonderment
and calm intention with euphoric delirium.