Angels Wrestled in the Night

Every angel wrestled marks me.

and every morning, remade,

I grieve again.

If I had mourned before,

when loss first came upon me,

so many years ago;

would the womb be so dark

where now she draws me in?

But what did that little girl know

of the stages of loss?

Mother to the woman,

standing in the mirror,

leading somewhere

she has not been before.

Grief marks me. 

Takes my hand

and, like a ghost,

of summers that have never been,

instructs me in the mysteries of my life.

This lover, my grief, 

has become the quintessential deconstructionist

marking the meaning of passages

whose existence I have chosen to ignore.

If I do not need, there is no loss to mourn,

no emptiness to fill

no fear to conquer.


If I do not need, there is no betrayal,

no newly bleeding wounds,

no scar tissues broken open.


And somewhere, in the labyrinth of my life

are marked hallways that I must walk again.

Silent stone corridors,

where gather, as before, the gifts of angels

sweet and bitter.


Within my body, sacred,

I must allow these gifts to grow. 

Bring to life within, the deepest harbour:

a haven for the soul.


And so, having drunk from the chalice of choice,

the one to whom I give birth is myself.

True, for the first time, to light and to shadow.


Fiona Mackintosh (© 2002, February 22, 2018)

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