When I was young and new to poetry my mom bought me a book by Marge Piercy called “The moon is always female.”
It might have been because I was discovering this new language and trying on the clothing of poet. It might have been because I was at college, away from home for the first time. It might have been because we were both a little lost, drifting in the weird, deep water of the women’s movement. The current took us there in the 70’s and kind of left us there in the 80’s. It may have been all of those things.
It was the title, really, led me to pick up the book but it was the poetry that kept me coming back. Today I’d like to share one of those poems with you. I hope you’ll take the time to read it…find a line or even a word that raises its hand to get your attention and just breathe that a moment. I know you’re busy…we’re all busy…but just know poetry is the one of the 8 glasses of water you ought to have, meant to have, need to have…to keep your soul watered.
To Have Without Holding Marge Piercy Learning to love differently is hard, love with the hands wide open, love with the doors banging on their hinges, the cupboard unlocked, the wind roaring and whimpering in the rooms rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds that thwack like rubber bands in an open palm. It hurts to love wide open stretching the muscles that feel as if they are made of wet plaster, then of blunt knives, then of sharp knives. It hurts to thwart the reflexes of grab, of clutch; to love and let go again and again. It pesters to remember the lover who is not in the bed, to hold back what is owed to the work that gutters like a candle in a cave without air, to love consciously, conscientiously, concretely, constructively. I can't do it, you say it's killing me, but you thrive, you glow on the street like a neon raspberry, You float and sail, a helium balloon bright bachelor's button blue and bobbing on the cold and hot winds of our breath, as we make and unmake in passionate diastole and systole the rhythm of our unbound bonding, to have and not to hold, to love with minimized malice, hunger and anger moment by moment balanced.