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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Scarred Mother

Always strange to feel a creepy, knowing vibe about someone, the sense that they are being furtive, up to something they ought not to be, and that "something" may cause a world of harm.  Knowing what I know, feeling that terrifying, icy fear, I draw my sweater tighter around me, light candles to Erzulie Dantor, a fierce and fiery member of the vodou pantheon, the scarred mother who protects her daughters, whose image I wear on a silver chain at my heart. She draws close to me when I am afraid; her scent is tobacco, vanilla rum, pepper, sweet Florida water, sharp citrus, heady lavender.  She knows well the blade of fear; she snatches daggers out of flames and dances with them, whirling like a dust devil, a blurred shadow: her secrets are whispered in ash, in the thin cry of an animal far off in the woods, in embers that fall apart, revealing a treasure of fire.  She will root out every secret and hold it in that inescapable light: she does this for women, for children, for all the vulnerable ones. She is the mother whose skirts I, at times, hold onto as a child might, when I fear I might become lost.