The Waiting Room

Sometimes, the past comes flooding back to me

Devouring my current state with its heavy load

And suddenly, I am every woman I have ever been 

The woman I was before the clouds parted and an angel fell down to earth

Landing haphazardly in my unhemmed pocket

The woman chasing the sunrise with deep inhales of dew covered lichen

The woman in mourning for a love that was never to come

The woman on the river and on the bathroom floor

The woman in the moonlight, by the roadside, in the darkness

I have been these women and loved all of them truly

Along with countless other tear drenched faces and daylight personas

But now I am none of them

They are present, but not

More crudely, I liken them to the build-up on a seasoned cast iron skillet

No longer the food, just burned remnants to cook upon

 

I guess that’s how I could look at it

I am well seasoned

I am an amalgamation of experiences that won’t fall softly by the wayside

But with the echo of so many women inside 

I struggle with what each yearned for but did not receive in her own time 

Each heart break, each thirst

I cannot comfort them or reach out to steady their gate

I can only watch with horror and compassion, the mistakes, the enchantments, the losses 

All while simultaneously living on inside this body they have left behind

I am grateful for the inheritance

I breathe new life into the world everyday but my constitution is weary from the journey

 

I wonder if there is a window somewhere in the back of my mind

Where they all watch the procession

And as each baton is passed 

They welcome another woman who will never again animate these bones

I wonder if they celebrate with joyful reverence for all we have endured

That would be nice

I think I would like that when my time comes

 

Today, however, I am someone I have never been

With each cell unique to this place in time

Each thought new

Each experience a climax of circumstances laid out from the choices of women past

Even now, as I write

The woman in the red lace blouse who sat with the birth of these thoughts has changed slightly

At least into pajamas

She’s fought demons while sipping rosemary tea

She’s taken her pills and contemplated forgiveness while wishing the day away 

By morning she may even sit with her younger elders behind the glass

Rioting with delight over yesterday’s pregnant belly and the little blonde pigtails of childhood

It’s strange to anticipate one’s passing, even if only passing on to one’s self

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