A bitter cud.
Biting into the bitter, that bites back.
Of all the gross tastes, sweet and salty,
sour, we seek it the least.
We spit it out. But not tonight.
Tonight we must taste our bitterness.
Bite into our failure, suck its essence.
We were slaves in Egypt, the Haggadah
reminds us, and we still are,
but who enslaves us to what?
The bone we chew is our own. Only I can tell myself where
I am caught, trapped, held fast, bored but comfortable
in the box I know so well.
This is the moment for naming that box, for feeling the walls, for studying the dimensions
of the prison I must choose
to leave in my exodus of one.
I can join with no one else, I cannot walk out with you
Until I measure my walls Then break them down. Darkness into light.
Fear and silence into Cursing. The known Abandoned for something New and frightening. Bitter Is the first taste of freedom.
From The Art of Blessing the Day by Marge Piercy
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