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  • Writer's pictureArlene Bailey

Shapeshifting Trauma

The wolf stalks me in my dreams

She comes in my waking hours too

holding me in her wild ways as trauma

threatens to silence me, drowning me

in the insidiousness of the impossible 


I feel her cold nose as she tries to wake me,

tries to rouse me from that place of frozen

fear and tears that threaten to drown me


She cries in the night, she cries in the day

howling for me to follow her across unknown

landscapes and into the forbidden depths

where trauma lives, where it waits


Her howling awakens my soul with a 

hunger for her wildness, her holy way of

focusing on the present, no knowledge or

desire for what has been nor what is to come,

only what is present in the now


She does not allow her mind to replay over 

and over the events that brought trauma

but rather sits beside me holding a space

for the ineffable to be felt and the insidious

to be silenced, holding a space where I feel

safe and sacred and able to choose my healing


As I close my eyes and open my mind it is not

Wolf I see, but a woman holding the radiance of a

thousand candles with flames as bright as the sun


Wolf is a woman with no signs of age and

simultaneously all ages and stages of life,

marked with the scars of one who has faced

the battering and bruising from her demons 

just to name that which holds her hostage


Wolf comes as Goddess in the night

in a Shapeshifting ritual of transformation

and empowerment as the cloak of trauma

drops from the woman’s very being 


Silencing the voices that held her hostage,

Wolf who became Goddess who becomes

Woman now stands in authentic being

knowing she is both holy and whole


Shapeshifting Trauma by Arlene Bailey

Previously published in Re-Membering With Goddess, Healing the Patriarchal Perpetuation of Trauma, A Girl God Anthology ©2022


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