(I found this poem on a friend's Live Journal.)
Linda Hogan, "The Lost Girls"
I don't remember when the girl of myself turned her back and walked away, that girl whose thin arms once held this body and refused to work too hard or listen in school, said the hell then and turned, that dark child, that laugher and weeper without shame, who turned and skipped away.
And that other one
gone from me
not even starting to knot
in vein or joint,
that curving girl
I loved to love with,
who danced away
the leather of red high heels
and thin legs, dancing like stopping
would mean the end of the world
and it does.
We go on or we don't, knowing about our inner women and when they left us like we were bad mothers or lovers who wronged ourselves.
Some days it seems
one of them is watching, a shadow
at the edge of woods
with loose hair
clear down the back
and arms with dark moles
crossed before the dress I made
with my two red hands.
You there, girl, take my calloused hand.
I'm going to laugh and weep tonight,
quit all my jobs and I mean it this time,
do you believe me? I'm going to
put on those dancing shoes
and move till I can't stand
then touch myself clear down
to the sole of each sweet foot. That's all
the words I need,
not poems, not that talking mother
I was with milk and stories
peeking in at night,
but that lover of the moon
dancing outside when no one looks,
all right, then, even when they do,
and kissing each leaf of trees and squash,
and loving all the girls and women
I have always been.