In the back field above the apple orchard,
fern-scented, the pasture low-cut,
ancient boulders humming distantly at the edges,
we three girls, sixteen, giggled on our backs,
under the cloud-strewn summer sky.
They left us alone. Who cared?
That blessed juncture when children are free,
past the need for guardians, but still not grown,
they could care less where we were, what we thought,
high on this mountaintop in early June.
We were carving ourselves a place, three girls.
The world held no leads,
“woman” meant not too much,
not a wide space, anyway,
and choices seemed so irrevocable,
not too far into our future.
But they left us alone, blessedly,
with the bulbous clouds changing shape each minute,
never remaining long with, say, an apron and a skillet,
but becoming, say, a witches broom, a magic mirror,
a scarlet dragon, or nets of silver and gold...
On a blanket in the high field,
we formulated no words,
but hourly worshipped the Queen of Change,
our future, and Hers, and maybe all women’s:
metamorphosing, shape-shifting, adjusting, changing,
altering ever so slightly and poof! a new vision,
carrying this blessing like a textbook in the sky,
the soft fern-scented lessons of nature’s giving.
July 16, 1995
I'm posting this in honor of myself as a girl, for my Sisters of that long-ago time, and for all the world's precious young women in honor of October 11th, the "Day of the Girl."