My Nest Was Built With Little Bones, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

My Nest Was Built With Little Bones

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

My nest was built with little bones,

Shells, feathers, twigs, candy wrappers,

Shiny things, torn pages of catechisms, shabads,

And pornographic magazines,

It was made of moss and hair, abandoned ribbons,

Scraps of red bandannas, silken scarves,

Shopping lists, and spit.

 

 

For years I incubated beneath the hollow-boned lark,

Or was it a mockingbird?

My shell survived storms

And long stretches where only monsters,

Drunken owls, and sleepy seagulls smothered me

In the night.  I learned to hide myself—

A nest within a nest—an egg within an egg;

I lived tucking parts of me away

I never wanted.  Brooding memories

Filled the nest like bits of worms regurgitated,

And every now and again I caught a glimpse of a faraway blue sky.

 

 

When the egg hatched and the nest

Bloomed, I stared blindly into myself,

Wiggling stubs of wings I so wanted covered with feathers and flight.

Yet now, I live, I walk, a nest on legs, a human egg, a permanent fledgling—

Wings clipped, song raspy with rain and darkness,

And a road of eggshells spreading out before me wherever I go.

 










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A Life Lived With Wings, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

A Life Lived With Wings

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

cicada

 

A Life Lived with Wings,

By Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

You see the opening
From which the wings unfurl                                                                                                                                 Swirling rainbows,
From which the champagne
Colored eyes saw a multitude of skies,
From that opening, from that
Wound that started like an insatiable itch,                                                                                                                From that space and focus of pain
Bloomed the song of summer,
Birthed a patient hider,
A thrower of voices,
A winged symbol
Of resilience–Stay underground
For as long as you need–
Seventeen years or forty-seven,
However long–nurse
The roots, absorb moon-drenched
Waters, clothe yourself in earth
Until your back thrums,
Until what little, stumbling                                                                                                                                     Strength you have turns
Into grappling hooks
And you find yourself
Emerging from your own life–
Climbing towards what you want,
Until you can say, like me,
I am the walking opening,
I am the living wound,
I am the giving birth,
I am the one with rainbows
In my eyes, I am the one
Who sings deep into the sky
The story of a life lived
With wings.

 

 

 


 

 

All donations go to keeping the Wonder Child Blog Afloat and my Transition.

Thank you.  Love, Jennifer



A Sunflower Asked Me to Write This Poem

A Sunflower Asked Me to Write This Poem
By Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

sunflower seed photo

 

 

Sun-kissed,
Sky-shawled,
Sunflowers
Look very different
From the way
They start out–
Little seeds tucked in hypnotic
Spirals, and yet sunflowers
Do not need to prove they exist,
They simply open
Their palms to the light
And say: “Here I am,”
And everyone sees them
And everyone understands
Seed and blossom are not
Two opposite ends
Of a spectrum,
Neither seed nor flower choose
To be what they are,
They simply exist,
And everyone smiles
And says: “Beautiful.”

 

 

You see
The other morning
I stopped to marvel
At a sunflower,
And as I stood admiring
The strength to stand
So tall, the dignity
To shine so much light
From such a round, lantern face
I heard it speak:
“I know you see me,
I know you see beauty
When you see me–
Go ahead embrace me.”
And so I did.
We swayed a moment
Slow dancing to the music
Of the early morning sun,
And as we did I heard it speak again:
“I have moved on
From husk and shell,
I have moved on
From living hiding
In the blind ground.
I am here now,
And you see me,
But did you know
There are those
Who do not believe
I exist? They ask me
To prove I belong,
They ask me to justify
My being a sunflower
Because they only knew me
As a seed.
I know you understand,
I know you live as one of us.
Help them to see.”
And so I promised
The sunflower
I would write this poem.
Sunflower seeds
May or may not know
They are sunflowers
Waiting in the wings
To bloom, in the same way
A sunflower can look back
And see it once was a seed.
For all we know sunflower seeds
Might think they are, and will never
Be, something other
Than how they presently present, and if pressed
With questions might ask one of their own:
What is a sunflower?

 

 

When is their moment
Of awakening, when they realize
They have a deep, undeniable,
Longing for light?
Is it when they finally crack
Under the pressure of trying
To remain as they have always
Appeared yet for some
Unfathomable reason know
They are something other?
Is it when their seams burst
Unable to withstand the pull
Of warmth and daylight?
Do you think it is possible
They are frightened
When they finally lose themselves
And understand they really are
Someone they never knew they were?
Do you think it is hard for them
To dig through darkness,
To push past rocks, to believe
Another life awaits, where light
Will caress their hands and face?
Or do you think they believe
That there is no possible way
A flower lives inside them?
That they are still themselves
As they weave through the dark earth?

 
The sunflower asked me
To write this poem to reassure you:
The essence of the seed is shadowed
In their faces and more importantly, it remains is visible
In their spirits, in the beauty
They express to the world.

 
The next time you see a sunflower
Embrace it gently through your misgivings,
Know nothing is ever lost—
The shape changes, the beauty remains
Only now it is held in the arms
Of the open, unconditional sky.

 

 

sunflowers tall

 


 

 

 

 





All donations go to keeping the Wonder Child Blog afloat and towards my transition.  Thank you for your support.  Jennifer

On the Devotion of Shaving

On the Devotion of Shaving
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

One by one,
Finger by finger,
I shave them
Delicately and
With a certain,
Indescribable joy;
I am amazed at how fast
The hair grows on them,
And on my legs, arms,
And chest—places
I never before shaved
Nor ever dreamed of shaving;
Now, every day,
I bend forward, pausing a moment
To feel how much this feels
Like prayer, and I draw
A Venus razor up and under,
Around and around
My calves and thighs, like
An instrument of devotion,
And my legs are so
Happy, so grateful to be touched
And tended, and when I am finished
And feel their smoothness
And how they thrum with being loved,
They tell me again and again
How this was always
What they wanted;
And as I draw the razor
Over my arms, they too shine
With gladness, as does
My chest, although, to be completely
Honest, the skin on my chest isn’t
As happy about being shaved
As the rest of this body,
That said, it loves the absence
Of hair and the silkiness
Is remarkable, as is the strange sense
Of being a mother,
That I have been living
Shrouded with the fur of a father,
And now as it falls into the water
Of the tub, and my skin sings
And rejoices to be unburdened,
I see I am a priestess
And this body a vessel
Of holiness, and every stroke
Of the razor, every experiment
With Nair, every time I run
A finishing razor to find
The stray hairs, I am tending
A temple where Goddess lives
And aches to be known and to know,
Where she shares lotus flowers
And sandalwood, where she kisses
My soul, and breathes over my fears
And cares turning them
Into dragonflies and milkweed seeds,
Where she tells me again
And again, “Thank you
For honoring me with the truth,
Thank you for being born and being
Your very own mother,
No wonder you are tired,
Allow me to nurse you
Into fullness and cradle you
And sing to you
As you rest in the grace
Of the revelation
I have given, and how bravely
You have surrendered
And how naturally
You have stepped into your power,
How carefully you are tending
The garden of who you really are,
Come, rest my daughter,
Allow me to hold you
As sweetly as you are holding me.

 

 


 

 

 

 




Donations go to my transition.  Thank you.  <3

A Man Gives Birth

A Man Gives Birth
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Who says men can’t give birth?
This body carried a woman
For forty seven years. This body
Loved a woman in secret—secret even
Unto himself—he did not even know
She was there being loved by secret parts
Of himself, surrounded by angels,
And this secret man tended her nest,
Fed her with everything he had.
And when she was ready
To be born, to spread elegant
And vulnerable wings, he opened
Himself with grace, sacrificed himself
With genuine humility, and sang her
Into being, wrote her into form,
Tracing the lines of her face
With wonder-filled fingers. And
She spread wings made of light woven with night,
And he made room for her to settle
Into them, and overtime he coaxed her out,
Although she didn’t need much coaxing really,
But he encouraged her to move closer to the edge,
And with eyes full of joyous tears, watched her begin
To fly, and he has done nothing
Except cheer as she began circling, soaring,
Singing to the sun and the moon with her wings
And her heart and her whole being free
And unencumbered. And he knows
He will diminish as she increases,
And he knows his form will fade from view,
And he
Is
So
Grateful
To have been the one chosen
To bear this secret beauty,
This hidden treasure,
This pearl of great price,
This Bird of Great Rejoicing,
And she
Is
So
Grateful
For everything he has done
And has yet to do–
For his tender, artistic hands
That hold and groom her wings,
For his willingness to risk everything
That she may live. And now,
She flies and sings her world
Into being, inviting you to go with her
Into a morning of beautiful
And dangerous possibilities.
You are being called
To be doulas for them both,
For they are going to need you,
They are going to need time
To rest in each other’s arms,
And sleep without interruption,
He will need understanding
And sustenance, she will need places
To fly with acceptance and celebration,
He will need you to remember
He didn’t have a choice in this.
She was meant to be born,
She was conceived by stars and the moon,
And he was chosen to carry
This little galaxy of wonder,
And he could not pick the time for her arrival.
And now she is here, flying–wings singing softly
And with incredible power,
Through a blue sky full of unknown spaces,
Through the night sky full of magic and yellow eyes
Watching from the shadows,
Through a soul sky full of blessed calm.
So come, you too were given wings,
You too have secret angels tending beings
Aching to be born, and of course, not necessarily
Like mine—a being of a new gender–no, you have your own
Hidden treasure, your own secret owl or nightingale,
Your own hidden being who nevertheless longs for freedom,
So come, I know what it’s like
To be born unexpectedly, let’s be each other’s midwives,
Let’s nurse one another
With holy fire.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Please help support my transition.  All donations will go towards medical expenses.  Thank you so very much. <3