My Response to Mary Oliver

A beloved passage from Wild Geese by Mary Oliver:

You don’t have to be good.

You don’t have to crawl on your knees

In the desert for a hundred miles, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

Love what it loves.

        ~Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

Mary, I have crawled on my hands and knees, across the desert. This is not metaphorical. Secrets, deception, lies kept me far from my birthright. Your father was cruel to you, you became a poet. My father wanted me and I had to search for him for thirty five years. When I found him, he had died a month prior. His father had died. His brother had died. I could not find his mother. This is how I knew we live in Patriarchy. Women cannot be found through birth certificates, death, land ownership, land working or reputation. The public library, the ancestry documents, the legal records only follow the name of the male line. The father of the father. Who was the mother of the father? You have to know to ask this. Who or where is the mother? To answer this, you need divination.

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