Does it Hurt to Bloom?

To peel each petal apart,
backwards, straining to display
the dusty pollen parts? What
was once whole, when parted,
will it sting? Can the power of
that pain be compared to broken
bones or hearts? burns or
lacerations? Will my ears ring?
Can it become so common
where I no longer wince?
Is it like a blade or needle where
pain gets blurred with pleasure?

Does it hurt to bloom?
Like how I suffer when winter-grey
burrows beneath, into skin layers
drying out skin cell after skin cell
shedding microscopic snow indoors?
When scratched, will the flakes
burrow deep under my nails?
Will they leave broad and
blossoming trails, burning
inflammation and irony
into my ashy skin?

Does it hurt to bloom?
To emerge into the world naked
and shameful or is it more like
the kind of pain that is said to
make me stronger, make me
appreciate the beautiful? The horrible
to help me understand happiness?
And will I realize when it happens?

-Rebecca Smolen

Rebecca is a writer based in Portland, OR transplanted from NH in 2014, she has a deep love for short story, poetry, snuggling and animals. She grew up on a dead-end road exploring drainage pipes and pond life. Having a degree in creative writing and philosophy, it only made sense for Rebecca to pursue a beloved career as a Veterinary Technician.
Besides being a mom of two adorable little gingers, Rebecca enjoys her English tea, west coast wine and Portland cider. She has a strong feminist voice that sometimes gets trapped within society’s confines, but vows to teach her son and daughter that there are no confines.
Rebecca has been trained and is certified to lead writing classes in the Gateless Method, scientifically created to avoid provoking the fight or flight reaction generating a safe place to produce raw, new writing that will spotlight the strongest talents of that writing.
You can find her first chapbook, Womanhood and Other Scars as well as most recently in The Inflectionist Review, Unchaste Anthology, Mutha Magazine, VoiceCatcher, Poeming Pigeon, the anti-fascist anthology, Shout and her full length collection, Excoriation is forthcoming at the end of 2020.