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Belleruth recently discovered the poetry of Ellen Bass, the woman who, with Laura Davis, co-wrote th

16 Mar
Belleruth recently discovered the poetry of Ellen Bass, the woman who, with Laura Davis, co-wrote the classic, Courage to Heal. The first poem she read took my breath away..
I recently discovered the poetry of Ellen Bass, the woman who, with Laura Davis, co-wrote the classic, Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. The first poem I read took my breath away, and I immediately sent it around to everyone I knew who would be as inspired and moved by it as I was. I thought I’d post it here. It comes from a collection of poems called Mules of Love.

For My Daughter on Her Twenty-First Birthday

When they laid you in the crook
of my arms like a bouquet and I looked
into your eyes, dark bits of evening sky,
I thought, of course this is you,
like a person who has never seen the sea
can recognize it instantly.

They pulled you from me like a cork
and all the love flowed out. I adored you
with the squandering passion of spring
that shoots green from every pore.

You dug me out like a well. You lit
the deadwood of my heart. You pinned me
to the earth with the points of stars.

I was sure that kind of love would be
enough. I thought I was your mother.
How could I have known that over and over
you would crack the sky like lightning,
illuminating all my fears, my weaknesses, my sins.

Massive the burden this flesh
must learn to bear, like mules of love.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award