Bare Witness

He arrives at the climax of
phase one,
phase two,
phase three…
(I’ve lost count)
…in this midlife transition.

Here, midway,
where wreckage of past battles
accumulate,
validate,
necessitate
some evolution.

He bears witness as I
spit and piss and vomit
remains of
old life,
old thought,
old attachment.

Holds my hair back
and reminds me
“You are braver
than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
smarter than you think.”*

Naked, vulnerable,
barely put together
for society—
it matters not to him
that I wear my skin
inside out today.

“Your world is kind,
and filled with love,
hope, creativity
and wonder,”
he whispers into holes
that were my ears.

I dream I devour him
for this raw acceptance,
bear him inside
so he can
taste, feel, smell, touch
the joy of my transmutation.

Then wake to the
business of change—
glad for his company
as I move from here to there,
from dark to light,
from old to new.

• • •

Bare Witness ©2011, Jen Payne.
Image: Louis Icart, butterfly nude.

*A.A. Milne quote

8 thoughts on “Bare Witness

  1. wow…i have felt this same feeling but certainly didn’t get it to flow like your poem…i read it several times to make sure that i got it all….your words about being seen and loved by another person are so powerful…i LOVE this….

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