Wounded we come into the world
And wounded we leave it.
The light’s white glare. The forceps.
The mother’s sweat. The screaming.
Wounded we lurch to gawky height
and learn our numbers, our words
and our ways. Wounded we love
and wounded, receive love.
And wounded our Mother, the ground
of mountains eroding, swept by
the white caps, fed by the torrent
that tears from the heavy gray sky.
Wounded the hand that grasps the nettle
and wounded the nettle torn
from the dirt, the flap of skin
held together by thorns.
Wounded we love, and wounded
receive love. Wounded, we heal
others, ourselves, with the nettle
that stings and yet nourishes.
They heal, those wounds, into patterns
and maps, scars rising mountains
and charting the seas, the currents,
the stars, a choreography
etched on the face, on skin, parchment —
a book of wounds, of healing,
of failures, renewals. Wounded
we give forth, and wounded receive.