I heard she was a strong woman,
that she fought battles and won,
that she fought battles and lost -
they said she was volatile yet secure,
unable to debate, yet voluble, that she
loved, hated, worried - she seemed
a little girl, but was very old - sometimes
she had wisdom but knew nothing at all -
I heard she knew what was important -
they said she was nature, a part of the
earth, that in breathing, she knew all things -
she wrestled with problems, achieved
solutions, did not easily give up - she
knew her weaknesses and her strengths,
she was learning all the time - she became
mistress to self-preservation, a dying art,
and she knew when to bow out - she was
sensible but mad - she was loud and quiet -
she planned ahead always, always tried
to live for the moment, and that was hard -
I heard she was joyful sometimes, exultant,
then steeped in a sorrow so deep she
couldn't talk - they summed her up as
full of contradiction yet straight as a die -
she did not tell lies, mostly, could be
scared yet fearless, frivolous but serious,
a star no less than the ones above,
burning bright and dying daily with the sun -
she was no less than the trees, no more than
the air - I heard tell she knew how to please,
but could torture too - she was failure, she was
success, was both rich and poor, was a seer,
a boor, but she lived a strong woman, one
who was all things at once.  I heard she was.
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