The Woman You Don’t See

I am the woman you don’t see
Or at least the woman you don’t see today,
There have been other women
On other days
That you didn’t see either.

You haven’t seen in us,
The gifts we bring,

Haven’t seen,
The time,
And talk,
And caring,

Haven’t seen
The level companionship
Of another traveler,
Beside you
But on another quest
Of her own.

Instead you see us
As a font along the roadside,
As a well,
Even perhaps forbidden
And yet,
Placed in the oasis
For no other reason
Then to slake your thirst,

The crux of it,
The irony
Is that,
In your eyes
We are a well,
Without generosity,
A well,
Willfully rationed,
Wantonly withheld,

And so you beg from us,
Demand from us,
Ask from us,
The elixir,
That bubbles from our earth,
Plead for the sacred flow
That you’ve craved since birth

But that you couldn’t receive
Even from the one woman
Who might have soothed
Your need,

And so you ask all of us
To be strong for you,
To service you
In ways obvious,
In ways invisible,

You ask us,
To pour ourselves
Into you

With us
Never able to hope
For you
To be filled.

Even in this century,
Even after everything
And nothing
Has changed,
You ask us
To fly under your radar,
To act the weaker sex,
All the while
Also asking us
To do
What is yours alone
To do,

Asking us
To give you
Possession of yourself,
Asking us
To imbue you with the power
You should have grown
For yourself all along

And now,
It is I,
Here in front of you
And you ask this,
From me,

And even still,
After all this time,
You see in me,
Not the gifts I offer
But instead,
You see the same things
You’ve tried to squeeze
From every other woman,
From every other relationship,
Things that I
That we
Cannot give,

And regardless,
In your desperation,
You bring
Your ignorance,
Your indignance,
Your extortion,
To bear,
To extract
That which you’ve never
Been able even to sip

Continuing the effort
But familiar,
Because it’s all you know,
Because it’s all you see.

And I don’t want to leave you,
Don’t want to abandoned
This beautiful friendship
That could be,

But if I am to stay,

You must endeavor
To see me,
Must stop insisting
That it is I
Or any other living person,
Who tends this well for you,

You must drop the scales from your eyes
And start again,
Must approach your oasis,
Along a different road,

Must work
And learn,
To see me truly
To see me
Not as the life-giving destination
Toward which you trudge,
Only as one
Who walks beside you
In the desert,

More important still,
You must start to see yourself
As the minder of your well.

©2019 Annette Meserve

Of Trucks and Roads and Disturbing Things

There are belly-dumps
In my world today

They’ve been a reality
For a while now
What with the county’s
Quixotic attempts
To make dirt roads
So they don’t get muddy
When it rains.

But today,
They’re not just passing by
On their way
To the rutted places
Further up.

Today they’re milling about
Just outside my window
With their clouds of dust
And diesel smoke
And huge, mounded up,
Road-base furrows.

They are out there dropping
And grading,
And packing,
With nothing but the best intentions,
Believing they are improving my life
And the lives of everyone else
Who lives in this valley.

I know they mean well
And I think its peculiar
That I find it so disturbing.

I always do.
Rarely am I happy
To see the road crews in our midst.

Oh, there’s the odd day
When there’s three feet of snow
That I’m grateful for the grader
To make an easier path to feed horses,

But even then,
I’m also happy if they don’t come
If they let us be isolated from the world
For just a little while
Until it melts on its own.

I don’t know why
I react to big yellow machinery
In this ungrateful way,
Why I can’t appreciate their efforts
As they’re intended.

But I’d be happier
If they would stay away
Most of the time
And maybe just smooth things out
Once a year or so.

If they’d leave me
In my ruts.

©2016 Annette Meserve

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For Sea

Speak with me dear sister
for, just as the GreenMan speaks life into being, we can bring forth the verdant leaves of our future.

Sing with me lost sister
for, as our voices echo off the walls of dark caverns, we will follow them and find our way.

Cry with me sad sister
for the thunderstorms of our tears will rattle our window panes and rumble our walls.

Laugh with me silly sister
for the peals of our laughter will stave off our serious demons and even make them smile.

Work with me strong sister
for with our efforts combined we will pull each other out of the swamp and bring our effectiveness to bear on our world.

Paint with me beautiful sister
for, just as midwives usher life into the world, so we will birth the magic through our fingertips.

Dance with me graceful sister with steps lively and fast, sensual and slow, boorish and ugly, pleasing and fun,
for in our movements we will join with the energy of all beings past, present, future.

Love with me sweet sister
for with the compassion of our mother-hearts we can embrace the puzzles of our lives and of the world.

Live with me sacred sister
for if my experiences are spiced with your essence they will be treasured years well spent.

©2010 Annette Meserve

Living on the Frontier

Cautiously, I prepare to go into uncharted territory,
to a place firmly outside of previous experience.
With no, more suitable, person to hand,
It must be done.
It falls to me.
He is apprehensively willing and patiently encouraging.
Take a deep breath,
and a shot of whiskey.
Here we go.

©2013 Annette Meserve