Ceremony

This is who I am,
arms crossed, braced
against the morning
cold, waiting for
the sun.

Parts of me long
to kneel
to pray, to spread
my arms
wide open in
some ancient
ritual.

In my many years
on earth
I have not found
a single
ceremony
that does not
discourage
women
or dogs, or both.

Here by the cactus
and shrub oak
all are welcome,
honored. Deer
stroll by,
a crow’s wings
stir the air,
and, yes,
from time to time
a neighbor’s dog,
tan, saunters
into morning.

Then suddenly the sun
pierces the hill
on the horizon,
as always brilliantly
indifferent.

And so I vow
to do my breathless
best with all
this beauty
and exuberance.

Even in winter
I stand, casual
hands in my pocket,
wool up to my eyes,
still braced against
the world.

But I come
each morning
to pray
like this, for this
is who I am.

Beate Sigriddaughter lives and writes in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. Her work has received four Pushcart Prize nominations and won four poetry awards. In 2018 FutureCycle Press will publish her poetry collection Xanthippe and Her Friends.She blogs at https://writinginawomansvoice.blogspot.com/. Read other articles by Beate, or visit Beate's website.