In a sacred place of honor
in the temple that is my home
stands a gleaming, powerful image of
The Venus of Willendorf,
proud and naked,
her unbound breasts resting on her
fully rotund belly, blissful and heavy
with the ripeness of all life
and the sweet milk that sustains it,
having no apologies to make for the
fat fullness of her thighs,
grown strong and proud from the
carrying of this wide expanse of hips,
and a rump the roundness of which
has enchanted poets and priests
since before time.
The Wise Goddess-Child
who is my daughter
calls this image The Mommy Doll,
and she has no interest in the notion
that maybe this lush feminine form
was not fashioned to look like me.
How, then, can I face this child
and not stand tall and BE A GODDESS
and in whatever size I am
be content?
I do not need
minimizing panels in my panties
and wires in my bra
to be divine and full of beauty.
Full of beauty.
Not starving.
Not starving for affection, approval,
appreciation, confirmation,
conformity, or anonymity.
But fully at home in the body of
this woman
who takes up her share of space
without saying I'm sorry,
and still leaves room enough in the world for
So, to you,
and to me,
and to the Wise Goddess-Child who is my daughter,
I say,
fearlessly and wondrously are we made
in the image of
She Who is Most Holy,
and the
of body hatred
has no place
in this temple.

A black and white photo of the Venus of Willendorf statue, lit from above.

Tender Places

By Lindasusan Ulrich

From Braver/Wiser

Spirit of Compassion, help us draw strength from all that we are. Give us new language with which to claim our wholeness, a new litany of joy built out of words that wounded.

Tender Places