When our insides are out,

Split open and raw –

The gritty sand reveals

the true woman’s song.

We take pain and wrap it up pretty with bows

and put it gently away where all bad memories go

She has shined pearls at her core in the depths of the night

Washing the spots with strength – they will see her light!

She won’t give up.

She – grown up.

Stacked up layers of shell.

To crack her open,

first cross those fantastical frontier fields,

Of sharp bladed grasses that leave cuts at your heels

And attempt to carry the burdens of all rivers in passing,

And give-give-give without even asking,

Oh a ways to go

Before you know how she feels.

A life to live

Before you know what she knows.

She’s almost unreal.

A chief of the land.

Nicks and pricks,

Hidden hits to her heart –

The constant change in commotion –

Sacrifices enough to fill an ocean –

Holds them in wisely

But swells up under tides,

Releasing enough-Not to spoil inside

Keeping her safe. Keeping her well.

Refusing to bury herself in her own personal hell.

She’s strong, but a mortal.

There are times. She is soft.

So in her parallel nature –

Under the thickest of shells-

Is the woman of women

Unheard of, unknown.

Who covers the world

And the pain

She knows –

so well.

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  • Holly Mara

    Holly Mara is a mom, wife, poet, and actress in the DC area. She won a Creative Arts award at Binghamton University for her poetry project titled: There's No Shape for the Change in Me, after a theater trip to China. She writes about women's struggles, worldly and other worldly love, and nature. In her spare time, she gardens, films amateur character-driven comedy videos, and will never say no to a cup of coffee.