I

Ness garden

“I”

I am the woman

Who is sick

I am the woman

Who never missed a trick

I am the woman

Who never cried

I am the woman

Who only tried

I am the woman

Who has always bowed to men.

 

I am the horse

Who showed me the understanding.

I am the cow

Who kept my breath sweet.

I am the dog

Whose spirit has served me.

I am the cat

Humourless, but truthful.

I am the chickens

Whose gentle clucks remind me

I am the native countryside

Of whatever land bred me.

 

I am the woman who men wanted to be extraordinary

I am the woman who found she was only ordinary.

I am the doctor, scientist, analyst, therapist

Who longs only to return to their family.

 

I am ambition which drew a never ending circle

And tightened the rein around my girdle

I am the fear of women through countless centuries

Which men informed us was purely fantasy.

 

I am the jeweller, the cleaner, the station porter

I am the postlady, once upon a time teacher,

I am the cold caller at my door without a clue

Of why they’re there. I am the fear, anger, lust

And sense of shame. I am the student about to train.

 

I am the woman whose friends adore her.

I am the woman who waits for them to call

I am the woman who is not fit for society

I am different, that is all. So different,

I cannot open my mouth and allow

The tide of my being to ebb and flow.

 

I live in a society where all has become theory

I am the guinea pig men sent back toGuinea.

 

I am a society too terrified to speak out

I am a society which must whisper, not shout.

I was brought to my knees by other’s insistence

That in self possession we could possess all we pleased.

And learnt, in completing the circle

This belief came from me, and no one else.

 

I am the woman surrounded by other women

Increasingly involved with the latest theory.

So many are saving the family of this planet

They have no energy left at all.

 

I am not a far away country

I am not the neighbour next door

I am not the sum total of my “illness”

I am close to the land that is all

I am the countless millions

Whose lives have been chewed over by a useless system

And know in my heart that the system that matters

Is the bedrock that feeds me,

The love that I feel in every cool breeze,

The sensation of touch, of gentle embraces

The understanding that needs no words,

The love that is without expectation

I am exhausted –

And my name is Mother Earth.

~ Nanci Swann.

 

wildflowers in Ness Botanical Gardens, Wirral

 

 

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