Poem Therapy 8:10 March 28, 2012: Power - Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich

Living in the earth-deposits of our history

Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate

Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil

She died a famous woman denying
her wounds
her wounds came from the same source as her power

How many times do we deny our wounds? Deny the source?

I had a therapist tell me that it is very hard for strong people to admit their wounds and sound like a victim. It's the truth. I may be bleeding profusely from a mortal stab to the heart, but ask me how I'm doing, and I will tell you I am doing well. And in truth, I will be well very soon.

Now that I think of it, my dentist also told me that sometimes very "strong" people are impervious to drugs, in explanation as to why the nitrous oxide didn't chill me out or knock me out.

Sometimes our greatest strength can be our greatest weakness.

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