(Poem) The Mother of Us All by Mary Saracino

 “God was female for at least the first 200,000 years of human life on earth.” ~Barbara Mor & Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother

For 200,000 years we called you Mother

honored the blood-red kisses

you planted on our upturned brows.

How did we forget our original womb

from which we sprang, our hearts open

our mouths searching for the nipple?

Hungry now, we cry out

lost between liminal memory

and sacred thought, aching to return home.

You are the primal seed, the gestation that bears all hope

sustains us through drought and famine

disease and dire sorrow.

We spoke our first words to your wide eyes.

Abundantly you reflected our future

back into our open, expectant faces.

Your sturdy hands cradled our fragile bones

mended our tender muscles, ushered us into the bright

round world of sky and earth, water and wood.

In your breath, myth and memory merged

science was born, art echoed its wisdom

on the cool walls of dank caves

language danced on the tongue-tips of cooing babies.

You suckled our dreams as we tended community fires.

You fed us stories to satiate the bellies of our minds,

satisfy our growling need to fathom the unknowable.

Sky lords severed our jubilant tongues, uncoiled your spiral,

fabricated straight lines where once circles spun.

Subjugation overthrew cooperation.  Where once peace

rivered through our veins, blood froze

fearful of the silencing sword’s metallic, bitter edge.

The icy marrow of amnesia impeded our way,

although the moon and the stars, the sun and the winds

always whispered your name, coaxing us

to awaken from our long, fitful slumber.

Though our twenty-first century minds may fail us,

our cells remember: all life swells within the folds

of your milky skirt, spinning and leaping out of darkness

into light then back again into the primal, original sigh.

All death awaits your embrace, the final kiss of comfort

releasing us into the crook of your welcoming elbow

nestling us into the soft curve of  your breast — home once more

the terrible exile undone at long, long last.

Note: “The Mother of Us All” was originally published in OCHRE: Journal of Women’s Spirituality, Spring 2007

Mary Saracino is a novelist, poet, and memoir writer who lives in Denver, Colorado. She is the co-editor She Is Everywhere! Volume 3: an anthology of writings in womanist/feminist spirituality (iUniverse 2012). Her most recent novel, The Singing of Swans (Pearlsong Press, 2006) was a 2007 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist.  Her forthcoming novel, Heretics, will be published in 2014 by Pearlsong Press. For more information about Mary visit:






Artist Monica Sjöö
Artist Monica Sjöö