We Are Here We Are Whole

photography by Susa SilvermarieI.
We are here, dear Gone-Befores,
we your descendants
at last are here and whole.
In your hidden valleys
protected by Cretan mountains,
we step where you stepped,
in your sacred centers,
we walk the processional paths
and touch our feet to the stones
of your Minoan courtyards.

Ancestors, how you move us!
We shake inside with how you move us.
Do you feel us
tracing your steps?
Through the curtain of time,
are you sensing
our attention upon you?
You look around with widened eyes.
What, what is it? you ask.
You shake with wonder, feeling us,
feeling our trembling
reach you from the future.

We become like giant pithoi jars,
shaped by women’s hands
around our wet and velvet darknesses.
In our female caverns
we immerse, we float.
A line dividing inside and outside,
dividing then and now,
dividing light and dark—
dissolves. Dissolves. Dissolves.

II.
How safe and wealthy it feels,
these giant jars stored all about,
filled with oil, grain, wine.
At Knossos, Phaestos, Malia,
and in every common home,
the richness of food for tomorrow.
I become a towering amphora
filled to the brim with belonging.

How did I not know
I was shaped by what has gone before?
How did I ever believe
I walked alone on my life’s journey?
A line dividing then and now dissolves.
I sit on the stoop, embroidering,
laughing with my neighbors.
In the distance the blue sea.
Nearby, the little ones playing;
nurture and protection all around us.
My daily tasks, my deep feelings—
all one, no line between.

Now a child is born,
and the midwife calls out loud—
Thank you Asasara, another girl!
Now, in an incubation room
I dream my descendants.
Now at the offering stone
I give my fruits of poetry.
Now, in the shrine room,
through the curtain of time:

I glimpse the descendants, the women
walking our processional paths,
touching their feet to the paving stones,
tracing our steps, tracing our ways.
Great Ida Mate, you
dissolve all times to one.
You show me our descendants
returning! Here! Whole!
On the timeless sacred paths,
ancestors and descendants
sing! and step! as one.

©Susa Silvermarie 2019

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