– Stephen, Montreal

I know a woman whose ears absorb the silences in conversations
Whose eyes mirror a soul’s possibilities
Whose heart radiates warmth and trust
Whose tears gently rinse invisible wounds

I know a woman who carries burdens to the river for cleaning
Washing them for herself and for others
Aware of the truth in every voice and story
Trusting ritual and water and patient, careful waiting

I know a woman who holds a stone face to
Violence, racism and injustice (so often poorly disguised in archetypal language and behavior)
Who replies to the cycles of insensitivity, ignorance and aggression,
With a magma of defiant and uncompromising poetry

I know a woman who wonders if she can make it some days
Keeping promises, being aware of and taking care of her essential needs
Listening and making space, seeking health and peace, aspiring to quiet
In a world of noise; depending on her word and her voice

I know a woman, who can summon the hummingbird
I know a woman who anchors the moon in the night
I know a woman who softens the air around her
I know a woman who answers the wind with an equal song

This poem is dedicated to Kyra Shaughnessy, whose work as a multi-lingual folk and roots musician in Montreal, Canada inspires me deeply.

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