I remember well how hellish
those years have been,
and now that I’m in peace
with the pain,
how unbelievable they are.
Yet I went through them, unyielding.
Accepted this was all life will offer,
convinced this is all there was to be.
My demise was merely prolonged
by a thousand small endings,
staving off the final cruel breath
and the oblivion I was sure to enter.
My body was a cage, cavern, a hollow.
A vocabulary for the ridiculous.
An insult to all who desired me.
The final disillusionment of my mother.
A rotting heap of cells fighting in rage,
synapses firing at each other,
like crazed soldiers
on the last battlefield on Earth.
Torment, despair, discomfort.
All of it, in perpetual cacophony.
Never questioned if this was
in consequence, or inherited,
if it was mine, or put upon me –
And when I did, horror stopped me
investigating this soundless crime.
The family hex, a lover’s curse.
The monotony of lies.
Until one day in a mountain of ore,
embraced by all the greenery of kingdom,
I let out a strange cry, a sweet tune,
of forgiveness, and unforgiveness.
The dagger in the heart of the warrior,
the silken, poisoned touch
of the dying maiden,
the lady of the forest.
A thousand tree trunks in their sturdiness
giving my bones density,
ten thousand leaves in their playfulness
giving my skin pliancy,
a sisterhood of branches in their vigour
giving my neurons velocity,
countless roots in their willfulness,
giving my blood clarity.
And I went into the world and reclaimed it.
For me and for the space to hold for others –
before me, and after me.
For all that have left it,
and all that were never here.
I voice this with expedience and love,
because this is how the trees have thought me.
All that I face now, in fear, wrath,
has no meaning.
When I see what is before me,
these beginnings and these endings,
They make way. To be in this world.
© Milana Vujkov, The Lady Of The Forest, 2017