All night
I rack my brains
desperate to end the war 
between two cherished loves
and only fail miserably

Until at last
in the pearly dawn
I ask the god 
of the small and powerless:
Oh Little One
wreak your kindness upon me

Help me face my fears
or better said
help me face 
this failed 

Take heart
says She
Just dive in and feel 
all those dark and sticky
gross and icky feelings 
that you dread

Feel them through and through
like blasts of heat
or waves of goo…
and so I do,
imagining the very worst 

Those darling souls
I see as part of me 
held helpless 
in the teeth of hell
and me watching powerless
as they scream

to me,
has always been
the worst 
of all possible 

in the midst 
of it all — 
I notice something 

No matter how fierce 
the heat
of my imaginings
I fail to lose myself
but am simply 

not bad, not good
just calm and 
the tiniest bit
by these dire
mental shenanigans

That is when
it occurs to me:
what if all this misery
this angst 
and dread 
of final tragedy

but my own
quite clever
and convincing

What if I’m not
a victim 
of insanity
but just a child
acting out her fantasies
of delight and misery

half-believing them
but more than anything
with wonder
at being 

And with that whiff of possibility
the embattled castle falls
and blows away…
and try as I might,
I cannot find my despair

Then I fall to my bruised
and bloody knees
Oh glory be
What if
in spite of me
I am 
already free?

Discovery – a Mother’s Tale

Trudi Lee Richards

Author, poet, Spanish-English translator; Activist and community builder. Member of the international Community of Silo's Message ( and its Portland, Oregon and Red Bluff, California communities ( Published work includes "On Wings of Intent, a biography of Silo," "Soft Brushes with Death, a Jorge Espinet Primer," "Fish Scribbles," and "Experiences on the Threshold - with Silo's Message." Also publisher and editor of "Human Future," an independent review published in San Francisco, California, from 1989 to 1996. Mother of five grown kids/stepkids and five step grandkids; Long ago graduate of Stanford University; Lives in Portland, Oregon.