Old Woman, you stand with your feet at the water’s edge,
Your old skin gnarled and rough,
With heavy thighs marked by signs that people left.
What was their need that they left their names
And jagged hearts for me to see?
It must have been hard for you
Feeling the sharp point of the knife
Making cuts on your skin.
But in your most holy sacred place
You embraced their gifts and made them a part of you.
Old Tattooed Woman, your bark
Holds memories of those who were here before me
Their names marking your skin.
See? Your arms are wide and strong
Offering shade for those held in your embrace.
I wish to be like you and take in what hurts
And weather the pain by toughening up
Like you, I will be made strong by life’s pointed edges,
Made wiser by honoring what is,
And made holy by embracing what comes.