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Clarissa Pinkola Estes

 

Abre la puerta

Her name is Hope and she’s 12 years old,
going on 20 to life. She is god at 5 feet tall.
Abre la Puerta, open the door
and let her in, give her food.

Old Florence lives in the parking garage
at the university with her bags and packs
on the floor all around and she washes
her 84 year old body in the sink at the library
with a piece of flannel from her deceased husband’s pajamas.
Abre la Puerta, she’s god.
Florence is God, there’s a God named Florencia.

Remember that old abuelita, your grandest grandmother?
How she staggered toward you on legs so thin?
You were just a baby then and she smiled all over your infant self
and when you rose young and steaming from the void
that was God in her abuelita form, crying with joy just to see you,
Que, que, que babybita” she’d say to you.
“Oh look at you, you babybaby you…”

“Look,” says God, “she talks.” God talks baby talk.
She opened a door in her belly for you.
Your grandmother is God. God is a grandmother

And you remember that red room where you grew? That was God.
And remember the warm hands that received you? That was God.
And you remember your father’s hands holding your face,
as though it were some kind of jewel that might break?
In that moment, he was God.

Your mate who snores, well… God snores, you see.
Your mate is God, who can never find his socks.
And your lover who burns for things you cannot give,
that is God also.

Your mate is God.
God is a housewife in mudface and hair curlers
at the door waving goodbye in a housecoat.
God wears a housecoat.

And, oh, the world that is young and has loved so deeply
and been betrayed, whose skin hangs like rags
and whose arms have no muscle and whose eyes have lost luster;
open the door of your heartaches and step through the door of your betrayal.
Pass through the hole that is left in your heart.

Pass through because it is a door.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.

Do you remember that your legs are el anillo, the ring that circles the lover?
Your legs make a door, pass through the door,
Abre la Puerta pass the bulb through.
Open the door, the most sacred of doors,
the trail through your belly and the road up your spine.

 

Remember, fire is a door.
and song is a door. A scar is a door.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.

The forest on fire is a door
and the ocean ruined is a door.
Anything that needs us
or calls us to God is a door.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.

 

Anything that hurts us,

anything that needs us opens the door.

Abre la Puerta, open the door.

All of these years of seeming indestructibility,
the grandfather of your world dies
and his heart explodes
and yours breaks into a thousand pieces.
These are doors. Open the doors.
Abre la Puerta. Pass through these doors.

The world is a tribe of one-breasted women.
Walk through the door of the scars on their chest.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.

Over the edge of the world you go,
into the abyss. You march in time.
And put the best medicine in the worst of the wounds.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.

The lake in which you almost drowned, that is a door.
The slap in the face that made you kiss the floor, that is a door.
The betrayal that sent you straight to hell, that is a door.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.

Same old story, all strong souls first go to hell
before they do the healing of the world they came here for.
If we are lucky we return to help those still trapped below.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.

Hell is a door caused by pain.

 

Opening a flower, rain opening the Earth

the kisses of humans opening the heart of the world

these are doors.

Abre la Puerta, open the door.

 

The scar drawn by razors, that is a door. 

The scars that are doors are opened, are opened.

Abre la Puerta, open the door.

 

The scars drawn by chainsaws across forests, those are doors. 

The poem of new life that comes every dawn,

the soaring of sun, that is a door, the grave is a door. 

The door to hell is a door.

Abre la Puerta, open the door.

Your grandmother, your grandfather,
your mother, your father have died leaving a hole in your life.
Step through that hole. It is an opening.
That hole is a threshold. That hole is a door.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.
Abre la Puerta, open the door.
 

Copyright 1980, 2007, Dr. C.P. Estes, All Rights Reserved.

From La Pasionaria, Collected Works, Poetry of Clarissa Pinkola Estes,

forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted here by kind permission of author.




A Prayer

Refuse to fall down.
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled,
and it will be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you
from lifting your heart
toward heaven---
only you.
It is in the middle of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.

 

Copyright 1980, 2007, Dr. C.P. Estes, All Rights Reserved.

From La Pasionaria, Collected Works, Poetry of Clarissa Pinkola Estes,

forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted here by kind permission of author.



 

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