The wounds of the mother

They say I have my mother's eyes

They shine an English hazel when I rim them with Kohl

In honour of my Turkish ancestors

Strong women with strong arms sporting rolled up sleeves

ready to pound dough into flat bread to feed their children 

They say I have inherited her power of spirit

her quiet voice

the un-elegant way she expresses her emotions

“You are just like her!” they cry in delight

And I smile

My wonderful, ever-giving mother is just like me


But then I realised that nobody ever told me I had inherited her wounds

Deep, dark holes in the ground

Tunnels that lead far away from the light 

Wounds that feel like shards of

broken glass

broken dreams

broken expectations

that pierce the soul and deflate it

in a way that only disappointment can


So, one clear day

I surrendered and sat with them

I melted myself down

and became one with them

Loosened them from my belief that they were invaders of my spirit

And listened to them

sing their wisdom


Like cascading water off a mountainside

“The tears you cry are not your own”

“The river you cry cannot be made alone”

“It is made from the tears of your mother's mother's mother's mother as this

 river runs deep and far back.”

So I knelt down beside this river and I watched as the tears from my eyes

dripped into the duck-egg blue water and snaked away

I heard her message in her curves and the way she moved

like velvet

over and through all obstacles in her path

She said,

"Every woman who heals herself, heals all

the women who came before her and all

the women who come after her,"


at last

I understood 

So I stood up, open to changing my mind about the world

and proclaimed that I didn't want the sadness of women to continue

I didn't want to watch them sacrifice, bow down, or martyr themselves any more

in the name of love

I chanted over and over to the sky

to the Goddess

to myself

that I will heal

because I would never want my daughters to cry my tears 


So, when my mother is sad

 I heal myself

When my sisters are sad

I heal myself

When I read stories of women around the world who are victims of violence

I heal myself

When a friend makes a choice she later regrets

I heal myself 

When I think of my grandmother's difficult life

I heal myself 

Because in my healing

I reach out and heal with every woman who ever graced this Earth 

And every woman yet to walk it

poetry for women