A chaste woman is given grace
within the mysteries of Dionysos —
not forced to drown down wine —
allowed to worship with her will
intact. One cannot always see scars.
Who knows which of us bear bruises
throbbing like Rhea’s quick drumbeat
and for whom a mystery is learning
how to loosen one’s grip on the
thyrsus. Not all need to be strung.
For these ones, safety is a brutal
lesson won hard through prayer.
The mysteries rest in calm silence,
in warmth, in the goodness of gods.
To mend takes more than to break.