She Let Herself Go by George Ella Lyon

“She Let Herself Go” by George Ella Lyon



She let herself go    soft    fat   sexual    She let herself go to the library to college to extremes    She let herself go wild   and gray   and all the way  She let herself go deep    go alone    go sane     She let herself stay    She let herself abide by her own rules    She let herself out    She let herself in    Let herself in for it    She put down her mask    She held out her arms    She let herself go



She let herself go far   go ahead   go overboard   without saying   without apology   without   She undid her bra   peeled off her hose    let herself breathe   She let herself fill up with air   no matter who was threatened  by the swell of her belly    She let herself go around with her own face no foundation concealer minimizer    She let herself be   She left dishes in the sink    dust furring Great Aunt Sudie’s breakfront    Seeing her neighbors’ manicured lawn, she thought    Don’t they have anything to read?



She let herself have her limits  her bad points  her life    She discovered she was Some Body   not just Any Body   not an object of fashion fantasy failure  But a woman — not a doll cellophane-worshipped flung to the back of the closet purchased to be perfect forgotten under the bed   And she let herself change   things besides diapers  what’s in the refrigerator   the state of the floor   She changed   She made change   She thought of herself for a change   She let herself flow   and there were stains and cramps and shit and shouting in driveways and walking out  fear grinding the guts   tears tearing down the freeway  the free     way



Letting herself go  and come  She came to the end of her rope and hung on though she’d learned to let go   till her numb hand sprung and she fell backward    turning over and almost inside out   landing in the pit of grief    the lap of light   open mouth wailing   open arms welcoming    smashed by the rock soothed by the rocking    She’s through!  She’s through!    Into the abyss   Into bliss    a twist    at the end of the road   a translation   dark night become the radiant way   She let herself go.



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George Ella Lyon Artist Statement:

Though I write in many forms, I am first of all a poet; which means my job is to see and sing the connections between things. The spider’s web is a delicious image for this and for the wonder of something newly made from old patterns, like the sentences writers spin each day.

The strength of my web comes from family, friends, words, music, dreams, mountains, and the joy of making.

Think about the life you are spinning and how you could write about its different strands.

Kentucky Poet Laureate, George Ella Lyon is best known for her poem “Where I’m From.”

Author: A Room of Her Own

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