Layer by Layer

Layer by layer she forms,
the womb holds her, shapes her.
She evolves from her heart, the core
that weaves unspoken movements
of her mother’s gait. Soon enough,

the contraction comes

Her emergence is messy as
she exits the swaddled cocoon —
warm skin greets goosebumps,
eyes open to dappled beams of sun
She exhales, the cry of baby bird
escapes her lips.

As she grows, exterior layers erect —
a band-aid placed to hide the scrape of difference,
make-up painted to cover beautiful imperfection,
crimson swash spread as she flirts with forbidden fruit

She learns to coat herself thick —
sheath of protection added to shield from crass remarks,
thin veil laid as her pursuit of God brings discomfort to others,
muzzle bundled around breath to dim her flicker.

She fades into the background.

There she is, encased
in midnight —
a place of moods,
where sensitivities are heightened.
She isn’t afraid,
even though she’s been told
shady places are no place
for a nice girl to hang out.

Here she is —
in the land of ebony
feeling sober
feeling her sobriety
both/and
navigating the dark

During the isolation,
time loses it’s grip of urgency,
blame dissolves like sugar in water.
She receives her reflection
as welcome stranger.
She breaks open
to her foreign ways,
enfolds her strange,
soft body with love

Truthfully,
this is the most important work
she has to do —
to greet her unique spark,
to claim her worthiness,
to love herself as she is

Layer by layer, she re-forms —
Honors the path she has walked,
observes the valley with lines of fortitude,
gives gratitude for the mountain of joy,
releases the impossible feat of perfection
tends her story with seeds of prayer,
mindful as she nurtures the whole.

Slowly, she sees
the layers create who she is —
each imperative for the work
she is called to in the world.

Before her eyes,
her color is revealed,
a garden tapestry of delight

Here, in this garden,
she sees the complex layers of the individual,
witnesses the mystery of unknown terrain,
feels connection with an unfamiliar breeze

Truthfully,
this is the most important work
she has to do —
to greet others’ unique spark,
to claim their worthiness,
to love others as they are

For this is the healing the world needs.